Sweet Treatments

 

The big news in disease control as we near the end of the first decade of the 21st century is getting an early start with seed treatments. There’s a flurry of activity in this market sector, evidenced by the continuing news of pairing fungicide manufacturers and seed companies to bring new options to growers.

This is just one of the key topics that our in-house disease dude, Rusty Beane, discusses in the final installment of our annual Crop Protection Preview series.

Like Reid W. Acker and Bugsy B. Gohn the past two months, Beane brings almost two decades of crop protection industry coverage to the table. After making calls to several well-respected Extension plant pathologists, he’s got the lowdown on the fungicide market.

Dear Rusty: Are there specific diseases that we should keep an eye on this year? 

Although anticipated outbreak severity may differ, for the most part the Extension experts I talked to just expect their usual pests. In the Midwest, that’d be the common foliar diseases like gray leaf spot, common rust, northern corn leaf blight in corn, Septoria brown spot, frogeye leaf spot, and late-season Cercospora/leaf blight in soybeans. 

The University of Illinois‘ Carl Bradley tells me he wouldn’t be surprised if a little more common rust and southern rust than usual show up in Illinois fields in 2009.

Daren Mueller from Iowa State University says there hasn’t been a lot of widespread foliar diseases on corn lately in his state, including last year. The early rain forced a lot of replanting, yet the season turned out to be drier and cooler than normal, knocking the disease and humidity cycles out of sync. When a disease showed up, there was no high humidity to feed it — bad for diseases, great for yields.

The story’s a little different in the South, which typically has more crop diseases than the northern or central tier of states because of its humidity, rain, and heat. Getti ng the corn crop planted by mid-April helps growers “outrun” diseases like southern rust, says the University of Arkansas‘ Scott Monfort. Other corn diseases include northern corn l eaf blight and gray leaf spot in minimum-till areas.

He adds that fungicides play a big role in southern rust control in fields planted after April 15, but the ever-increasing corn acreage means some fields are planted well into May and more at risk for late outbreaks like last year’s crop. 

Soybean rust, frogeye leaf spot, late-season Cercospera leaf blight, and aerial blight are concerns in Southern soybeans; the latter is a particular concern for rice/soybean rotations. 

Dear Rusty: What’s new this year?

The pair of products listed in the “2009 New Fungicides” chart aren’t brand new, but Proline 480 SC from Bayer CropScience is new to the soybean market since last year’s report, and Orius 3.6F from Makhteshim Agan of North America (MANA) is new to the corn markets.

Proline 480 SC, which was included in my mid-year report in September can be tank-mixed with Stratego.

Orius 3.6F is now approved for use in corn and received a Section 3 for soybeans. It is used as a protective spray or when weather conditions are favorable for development of rust, northern leaf blight, southern leaf blight, northern leaf spot, and gray leaf spot in corn, and soybean rust and powdery mildew in soybeans.

Several soybean rust products have been upgraded from Section 18 to full Section 3 status by EPA. The last two products waiting for Section 3 approval — Punch from DuPont Crop Protection and Topguard from Cheminova Inc. — are expected this year.

However, it’s the new fungicide-based seed treatments that really intrigue me. (Bugsy B. Gohn also discussed several seed treatments containing insecticides in “Readying For War,” January CropLife magazine.)

For example, there’s Acceleron brand seed treatment from Monsanto. The key here is to recognize that the word “brand” signals that this is a whole lineup of products under the Acceleron umbrella. According to the company, the brand will complement the company’s seed and trait strategy.

The Acceleron seed treatment platform will provide proprietary mixes of products created to optimize plant health in soybeans, corn, and cotton. The first seed treatment technology will be introduced on Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans this year.

Janice Person, Monsanto spokesperson, emphasizes that the active ingredients will be crop-specific and may change from one year to another.

Another product is Avicta seed treatment from Syngenta Crop Protection, which received EPA approval last month. This one targets nematodes in corn, where the traditional cotton/soybean pest is becoming a growing problem. It will be available as a pre-applied treatment package with a 0.50 milligram active ingredient rate of products you already know: Cruiser 500 insecticide and Apron XL, Maxim XL, and Dynasty fungicides.

Most of you will have to be patient for another year since it’ll only be available in limited amounts this spring for field trials. Syngenta expects Avicta will be available for the 2010 growing season.

Dear Rusty: Can we relax on soybean rust now? After all, there hasn’t been a major outbreak since it appeared in the U.S. in late 2004.

If — and maybe I should say “when” — an outbreak of soybean rust happens in this country, most experts say it will be devastating. You don’t have to worry about it 24/7, but checking USDA’s soybean rust Web site periodically to keep tabs on the disease is advised. Tom Allen of Mississippi State University, who has the perspective of someone who sees soybean rust in his state every season, says retailers and growers should NOT get complacent about rust, as it has the potential to be an explosive disease. Actually, every plant pathologist I talked to couldn’t stress enough the importance of staying aware of where rust is in relation to your operation and being prepared to work with your growers in preventive and control measures.

Movement of the disease in 2009 will depend on overwintering of the inoculum in the South, prolonged temperatures across the southern U.S. throughout the winter and into the spring, and potential tropical weather systems. A major freeze in January went quite deep into the South, although at presstime, we don’t know how much inoculum has been destroyed.

Bradley of Illinois notes the U.S. is still at the beginning stages of dealing with this pathogen and as research and experience continue, even 10 years from now, our knowledge of soybean rust will be far greater.

Dear Rusty: It looks like preventive/scheduled applications of fungicides are ruling the day. Many of my grower-customers have made it pretty clear that they plan to use Headline on corn and/or soybeans, so BASF is getting their message across. Any comments?

I haven’t seen the acreage numbers or yield results for 2008, although some of the Extension guys tell me they think the acreage has plateaued at this point. BASF had the numbers to back its claims about Headline in 2007, estimating that U.S. corn and soybean growers who used the fungicide that year produced an additional $450 million worth of grain.

At the National Agricultural Aviation Association‘s recent national conference, BASF shared early results from its continued evaluation of Headline fungicide applications as low as 1 gallon per acre (gpa). Company officials reported that this low use rate provided yield and performance that was equal to that gained when using Headline at 2 gpa. Please remember, though, that using Headline at less than 2 gpa water volumes is not registered by EPA. In other words, don’t try this at home, folks.

Bayer CropScience’s Stratego and Syngenta’s Quilt also are being marketed for preventive applications, according to Don Hershman of the University of Kentucky.

Hershman is one of many Extension plant pathologists that still aren’t convinced if these preventive programs are more effective than using the fungicide when disease is present and warrants treatment. He also cites resistance and environmental impact concerns.

Despite his concerns, growers are unmoved. He told me that prior to a wheat producers meeting, his pre-talk survey showed that 60% of those present were planning to make scheduled fungicide applications. After his presentation, the post-survey showed he did not change their minds. The two sides are at an impasse for now, he says.

Dear Rusty: What’s in the pipeline?

Monsanto and Bayer CropScience will pair up Bayer’s Vortex corn fungicide and Monsanto’s eight-trait stacked seed, SmartStax, which is expected to launch in 2010. It will combine Trilex, YieldShield, and Allegiance seed applied fungicides, Gaucho seed-applied insecticide, Celgard, and Pro-Ized Red Colorant into one product.

The Vortex-based seed treatment will provide corn growers with significant improvement in early-season protection against seedling diseases and insects.

Monsanto will have exclusive rights to commercialize the new fungicide seed treatment in its seed product.

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Seed/Biotech Stories
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Delivers Two New Winter Wheat Varieties To Eastern Corn Belt
August 6, 2014
Adding to its portfolio of AgriPro brand wheat varieties, Syngenta introduces SY 007 and SY 474 soft red winter wheat varieties. Read More
Seed/BiotechWater Optimized Seed Flowing Freely
April 1, 2014
As the demand for ag to diminish its water use while maintaining high yields and crop quality increases, three companies are leading the movement to grow more with less water. Read More
Seed/BiotechBayer Applies For Seed Treatment That Protects Against Sudden Death Syndrome
February 26, 2014
If approved, ILeVO seed treatment would be the first product to provide breakthrough protection for soybean seedlings from the soil borne pathogen Fusarium virguliforme, the fungus that causes SDS. Read More
Seed/BiotechSeed Still Central
November 1, 2013
Advancing genetics continue to make seed the crop variable that calls the shots for the season. Read More
Top 100 Articles
CropLife 100Pinnacle Agriculture Acquires Minnesota Retailer
April 14, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings, LLC, ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100,  has successfully acquired Liebl Ag, LLC in Ada, MN.  Read More
CropLife 100CHS, Aurora Cooperative Complete Fertilizer Storage, Grain Shuttle Loading Facility
April 13, 2015
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading cooperative and ranked No. 5 on the CropLife 100, and Aurora Cooperative (ranked No. 21) Read More
CropLife 100GROWMARK Acquires Missouri Refined Fuels Terminal
April 2, 2015
Bloomington, IL-based GROWMARK and Magellan Pipeline Co. have entered into an agreement in which GROWMARK will acquire the refined fuels Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Acquires South Dakota Retailer
April 2, 2015
Wilbur-Ellis Co.’s Agribusiness Division, a recognized leader in precision agriculture technology and the distribution and marketing of plant protection, seed Read More
CropLife 100The McGregor Co. Closes Smith-Kem Acquisition
April 2, 2015
The McGregor Co. — ranked No. 16 on the CropLife 100 list of largest U.S. ag retailers — has completed Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Commemorates National Ag Day
March 20, 2015
The Illinois agriculture community gathered at BRANDT global headquarters on March 18 to celebrate National Ag Day behind this year's theme Sustaining Future Generations. Read More
Latest News
FertilizerSimplot’s Gal-XeONE Technology Moves West
April 27, 2015
The J.R. Simplot Co. remains committed to creating customer value through technology. In 2013, Simplot purchased the Gal-XeONE controlled release Read More
Eric SfiligojThe Need To Defend Production Agriculture
April 27, 2015
Last week, I spent the better part of my time on the road visiting with ag retailers and market suppliers Read More
FertilizerStarter Fertilizers Show Value In Stressful Spring Cond…
April 27, 2015
From wet, cold conditions in the eastern Corn Belt to excessively dry, cool soils in the Plains states, spring field Read More
StewardshipTFI Announces Renewed Financial Commitment To Fertilize…
April 24, 2015
Today, The Fertilizer Institute’s (TFI) President Chris Jahn announced that TFI and over 100 partners will more than double existing Read More
Industry NewsMACA Names New Ambassador Coordinator
April 23, 2015
The Mid America CropLife Association (MACA) has named Michelle Kilper as its new Ambassador Coordinator. Michelle is a graduate of Read More
ManagementAg Retailer’s Role In Local Policy Making; Raising The …
April 23, 2015
CropLife’s Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj review their recent travels, precision ag efforts in Washington, DC, and the role of Read More
TMX-2050 In-Cab Display Launch Run Screen
Precision AgIn-Cab Computing 2015: Connectivity, Compatibility Take…
April 23, 2015
In terms of in-cab computing solutions for the agriculture market, companies like Case IH, Topcon, Trimble, John Deere and Raven Read More
USDA
StewardshipUSDA Outlines Building Blocks For Climate Smart Agricul…
April 23, 2015
Today, the USDA has announced a comprehensive and detailed approach to support farmers, ranchers, and forest land owners in their Read More
Industry NewsArysta LifeScience Welcomes New Territory Sales Manager
April 23, 2015
Arysta LifeScience North America recently announced the addition of Kaitlyn Acaster to the Canadian sales team. Acaster will fill the Read More
Crop InputsMarrone Bio Innovations Opens New Research Greenhouse
April 23, 2015
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. (MBI), a leading provider of bio-based pest management and plant health products for the agriculture, turf Read More
Crop InputsDuPont Acquires Taxon Biosciences
April 23, 2015
DuPont has agreed to acquire Taxon Biosciences, Inc., a leading microbiome discovery company. This acquisition will build on DuPont’s in-house capabilities Read More
Farmer on tablet
ManagementStudy: Consumers Don’t Care If U.S. Farmers Feed …
April 23, 2015
“We’re feeding the world” is a mantra often used by those involved in farming and food to build support for Read More
Industry NewsCorporate Responsibility Magazine Names Monsanto One Of…
April 22, 2015
Corporate Responsibility Magazine (CR Magazine) named Monsanto Co. to its 100 Best Corporate Citizens List for 2015. This is the Read More
FertilizerSpring Nitrogen Management: Form And Timing
April 22, 2015
Most corn producers have planned their spring nitrogen program for 2015, and many have already started to implement their program. Read More
FMC 3Rive 3D
Industry NewsFMC Corp. Completes Acquisition Of Cheminova
April 22, 2015
FMC Corp. has completed the closing of its acquisition of Cheminova A/S, a multinational crop protection company based in Denmark Read More
SoftwareSyngenta Expands AgriEdge Excelsior Nationwide For 2015
April 22, 2015
Growers across the country can now take the guesswork out of improving their farm’s production, land value, farm stewardship and Read More
Cornfield near Sioux City Iowa
HerbicidesU.S. Regulators May Start Testing Food For Glyphosate R…
April 21, 2015
U.S. regulators may start testing food products for residues of the world’s most widely used herbicide, EPA told Reuters’ Carey Read More
FungicidesBRANDT Adds Zonix Biofungicide To Portfolio
April 21, 2015
BRANDT has added Zonix biofungicide to its rapidly expanding line of organic and sustainable products. Zonix is a contact fungicide that Read More