Scala approved for aerial application on potatoes

Bayer CropScience has picked up regulatory approval for aerial application of its fungicide Scala on Canadian potato crops.

Scala, a Group 9 pyrimethanil product, is the only fungicide in its group that’s registered for control of early blight (alternaria solani) in potatoes, Bayer said. It’s had registration for ground application against early blight since 2007, the company noted in a release Thursday.

“Large-scale potato growers, particularly in Alberta and Manitoba, will benefit from the convenience and efficiency of aerial early blight control,” David Kikkert, Bayer’s portfolio manager for horticulture, said in the release.

“Prevention is the best strategy for early blight, and the new aerial application means growers will have the option of choosing Scala to get an early start on protecting their potato crop.”

Scala, which is also registered for control of other diseases in several fruit crops, can also be a “smart rotational tool” for use in potato-growing areas where reduced sensitivity to strobilurin fungicides has been identified, the company said.

Scala, Bayer said, should be air-applied only via rotary or fixed-wing aircraft when conditions are “conducive” to disease development and when weather conditions allow for “complete and even” crop coverage.

Bayer also recommended potato growers repeat applications at seven- to 14 -ay intervals, up to six applications per season, and that they alternate Scala applications with fungicides that have a different mode of action.

Scala, which is also registered for a tank mix with Syngenta’s chlorothalonil fungicide Bravo, “protects potatoes through locally systemic activity and translaminar movement, and is best suited for a preventative treatment program,” Bayer said.

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