Fungicide graduates to full registration in stored spuds

Designed to work as deep as eight inches and at high speeds, it includes 29-inch disc blades

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A hort-crop fungicide once pressed into use against diseases in stored potatoes in Eastern Canada has been cleared to include that use on its label, Canada-wide.

Rampart, made by Loveland Products and marketed by Agrium-owned UAP Canada, now has full approval from Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) for control of late blight and pink rot on stored potatoes.

Potato growers in Eastern Canada were granted an emergency-use registration for the product in 2008, UAP’s western product manager Brodie Blair said in a release Tuesday, as the registration was announced at Manitoba Potato Production Days in Brandon.

"Warm, wet conditions at the end of the 2008 growing season made late blight and other diseases, such as pink rot, a serious threat" to the eastern crop, he said.

Rampart, a Group 33 systemic fungicide with 53 per cent mono- and dipotassium salts of phosphorous acid, "should be applied as soon as possible after harvest," Loveland Canada general manager Jeff Crampton said in the same release.

The product can be used as a single spray or rinse for harvested potato tubers before storage, or as a single application through the humidification system to potatoes in storage, he said.

Late blight and pink rot, both fungal diseases, can infect tubers before or at harvest, then spread from diseased tubers to healthy tubers, causing "serious losses in storage or in future crops," UAP said.

Rampart is to be applied at 190 millilitres per in litre of water, then used at a rate of two litres of solution per 1,000 kilograms of potato tubers.

Rampart, UAP noted Tuesday, is also now registered for suppression of downy mildew in grapes and in brassica leafy vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower.

The product can be used in grapes and in brassica leafy vegetables by foliar application up to a day before harvest, UAP said.

Phosphorous acid inducts host plant resistance and hinders energy metabolism in susceptible pathogens.