CropWorld 2010: New fungicide chemistry offers benefits

NEW fungicide chemistry coming on to the market will offer significant benefits in terms of disease control, yield benefits and resistance management. But whether or not growers exploit these benefits will depend on the price of new fungicides in the market.

That was the assessment of H L Hutchinson technical development director Dr David Ellerton during his presentation on the significance of SDHI fungicides to the CropWorld conference.

New fungicides from BASF, Bayer CropScience, DuPont and Syngenta offered broad spectrum disease control in cereals and potentially in pulses, vegetables and fruit, together with long lasting activity, big yield responses in high disease pressure situations and resistance management opportunities, he said.

“One thing that seems to mark them out from other groups is they are have highly persistent, long lasting activity and I think if you go on early with these it gives you leeway with your follow up spray and that could be very important.

“You can definitely call this group of actives very broad spectrum, which is exactly what we need given the chemistry on the market at the moment that is broad spectrum is potentially at risk.”

Dr Ellerton said he had seen some very large yield responses to SDHIs but responses had varied enormously from year to year, depending on disease pressure. “I’ve certainly seen 4t/ha plus yield responses over untreated and over a tonne compared to good standard programmes.”

SDHIs had a different mode of action to other fungicide groups. “So if you have populations of diseases resistant to these other groups, the SDHIs should control them well and that to me is absolutely, crucial to protect existing chemistry,” said Dr Ellerton.

Commenting on fungicide strategies for the 2010/11 season, he said triazoles would continue to form the basis disease control in wheat.

“The strobs I think will position very specifically for individual situations - for take-all, net blotch and rusts and to help with nitrogen scavenging.

“Chlorothalonil will still be extremely important for early disease control. SDHIs will offer additional protectant and curative control.

“However, whenever we look at any product we have to ask how cost-effective is that product? And we are going to have to look on a situation-by-situation basis to say ‘In this position, do SDHIs sell themselves?’

“I think the strobs and triazoles are going to be around for a while yet,” said Dr Ellerton.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Very true! Makes a change to see somonee spell it out like that. :)

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