With the start of the 2020 growing season just a few weeks away, crop protection companies are introducing farmers to new products with new chemistries promising improved pest control — some with wider windows of application and some with dual modes of action — and all are intended to provide a bigger bang for the buck and benefit yield and crop quality.
Corteva Agriscience has a new dual mode of action fungicide that has a particularly good fit with barley and oat crops, as well as a new seed treatment insecticide that can effectively subdue wireworms and other pests in cereals, peas and lentils, says Lorne Thoen, product manager for introducing Cerefit and Lumivia CPL products, respectively.
Cerefit is a dual mode of action fungicide combining propiconazole (Group 3) with picoxystrobin (Group 11) active ingredients in a foliar fungicide that’s effective in controlling a wide range of cereal leaf diseases, says Thoen.
The fungicide is effective in controlling leaf diseases on wheat as well; however, if Prairie producers are more concerned about controlling fusarium head blight other products will be a better fit.
“We have an excellent relationship with western Canadian cereal growers, with a strong portfolio of herbicides that can be used in grain crops,” says Thoen. “Cerefit closes the gap in our product line by bringing an effective fungicide to barley and oat growers in the black and dark-brown soil zones.”
With spring barley, Cerefit is effective in controlling or suppressing leaf rust, net blotch, powdery mildew, scald, speckled leaf blotch, spot blotch and stem rust, while in oats it also controls crown rust and septoria leaf blotch.
While Thoen says Cerefit has an excellent fit with barley and oats in Western Canada, it is an effective fungicide for winter wheat growers in Eastern Canada. It has quite a wide window of application — three- to flag-leaf stage — for western farmers, compared with the three- to six-leaf stage of winter wheat crops in the East.
The dual modes of action in Cerefit have broad benefits for farmers, he says. “While we have yet to see fungicide resistance develop in leaf diseases, it is something we need to be aware of,” says Thoen. “I am respectful of the risk. But we have two very effective active ingredients in this product. The picoxystrobin component is almost 100 per cent preventive while the propiconazole is both preventive and curative against many of the leaf diseases. Sometimes when you put two very effective chemistries together it’s a matter of one and one equal three, and I believe that’s what we’re seeing with Cerefit.”
Thoen says in field trials in 2019, a year many considered a relatively low-risk year for disease development, there were clear benefits to applying Cerefit. The dual-action fungicide was compared to competitive products as well as untreated control plots of barley and oats.
“The untreated plots were considered to have very low risk of disease development, yet we measured a considerable difference in plots treated with Cerefit over the untreated,” says Thoen. “Even with what might be considered as background levels of different leaf disease pathogens, the plants in the Cerefit-treated plots were noticeably healthier.”
Lumivia CPL insecticide
Lumivia CPL is the first Group 28 insecticide seed treatment that can control (kill or at least subdue) several pests in cereals, peas and lentils — hence the CPL added to the name.
While the chlorantraniliprole chemistry has been used effectively as a seed treatment on corn in Eastern Canada for several years, Corteva recognized it could be effective on several pests in Western Canada as well, says Thoen.
Although it is an alternative to the long-standing neonicotinoid seed treatments currently under review by Health Canada, the product isn’t being billed as a neonic replacement, he says. “Lumivia CPL can certainly stand on its own merits,” says Thoen.
In dealing with wireworm, Lumivia CPL has a dramatically different approach to subduing the pest. It doesn’t outright kill the worm as some newer competitive seed treatments are claiming this year, but it does render it immobile more effectively than neonic products.
“Lumivia CPL works on the muscle action of the pest rather than the nervous system,” says Thoen. “While neonic products disorientate the pest, Lumivia CPL actually paralyzes the pest, and if they can’t move and can’t move their jaws, they can’t feed and they will starve. We can’t say it kills the pest but we do know that it will reduce feeding and pest numbers will be reduced.”
In addition to wireworm in cereals, the insecticide also kills or controls cutworm and army worm in peas and lentils and the larvae of pea leaf weevil, which also affects many pulse crops. In research trials last year, plots treated with Lumivia CPL had at least a 17 per cent increase in plant counts against comparable products.
Thoen says it is also environmentally friendly as it is applied at a very low application rate — a 3.5-litre jug will treat up to 200 bushels of peas, 320 bushels of wheat and 600 bushels of oats. And it is also easy to apply with on-farm seed-treating systems.
“With higher plant counts that means increased biomass in the field and that means more leaf area and more solar panels in the field,” says Thoen. “And that’s important to produce a healthy, vigorous, more even-maturing crop with potential to produce higher yields.”
Syngenta excited about multi-tasking fungicide
A family of fungicide products built around a new active ingredient is being launched by Syngenta for the 2020 crop production season.
The brand new active ingredient is a Group 7 chemistry called Adepidyn. It will be marketed under the brand name Miravis; and under that name producers will find Miravis Ace foliar fungicide designed for wheat, Miravis Bold to be used on canola and Miravis Neo for pulses.
“The feature of the Adepidyn molecule is the broad spectrum of its effectiveness to be able to work with several different crops against a wide range of crop pathogens,” says Randy Retzlaff, Syngenta’s technical lead for fungicides.
It is the first Group 7 fungicide providing an option if farmers are concerned about fungicide rotation, says Retzlaff. “But it also provides a combination of features that include powerful effectiveness against the pathogen it is targeting, great stamina in length of control in the plant and a great spectrum. This molecule has the ability to cross over multiple pathogens in multiple crops.”
Miravis Ace is registered for use on spring and winter wheat as well as durum. It’s not only effective in controlling fusarium head blight but also very effective against many of the most common cereal leaf diseases.
How effective is it? Syngenta says 10 years of data from both research plots and field-scale trials show that 80 per cent of the time, Miravis-treated wheat crops have a three to four per cent yield increase (about 2.5 bushels) compared to crops treated with other fungicide products.
And along with a bit more yield, on the quality front 75 per cent of the time Miravis-treated wheat also had a half per cent reduction in FDK (fusarium-damaged kernels) and as much as a 15 per cent reduction in the vomitoxin, deoxynivalenol (DON).
“It is a well-rounded fungicide that provides a new mode of action, improved effectiveness, a wider window of application and maintenance of yield and quality,” says Retzlaff.
If you think about Neapolitan ice cream, which combines three different flavours, Miravis Neo delivers three different fungicides with different modes of action for broad-spectrum control of diseases in field pea and chickpea crops.
Along with Adepidyn (Group 7), Neo also includes azoxystrobin, a Group 11, and propiconazole, a Group 13.
“Miravis Neo has built-in resistance management,” says Retzlaff. “It has a wide window of application right up to the time of flowering, and provides broad-spectrum disease control.”
The fungicide provides effective control of diseases, such as ascochyta blight, powdery mildew, mycosphaerella blight and anthracnose, along with suppression of white mould.
“Again, our research has shown Miravis Neo helps produce a healthy, more vigorous crop, with improved standability and excellent yields,” he says.
And Miravis Bold, which just received registration in early 2020, will be available on, perhaps, a limited basis for sclerotinia control in canola.
“It is the same powerful active ingredient Adepidyn, a Group 7, that is most effective against the sclerotinia pathogen,” says Retzlaff. “One of the key features of Miravis Bold is a wider window of application. It can be applied any time between 10 per cent to 50 per cent flowering, giving farmers an extra few days to treat crops.”
Retzlaff says the company is looking to expand registration of Miravis products to cover more crops and diseases in the future.