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 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
Wheat Growers, North Central Farmers Elevator Pursue Merger
CropLife 100Wheat Growers, North Central Farmers Elevator Pursue Merger
March 3, 2015
Two CropLife 100 retailers — South Dakota Wheat Growers (ranked No. 11) and North Central Farmers Elevator (No. 19) — have entered into a Letter of Intent to unify the two companies into a newly named cooperative. Read More
Growmark Group
CropLife 100GROWMARK In 2015: Back, To The Future
March 2, 2015
The nation’s third largest ag retail organization is simultaneously moving forward while remembering its past. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Expands Sanders Brand In The South
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle has acquired Hopkins Seed and Chemical in Qulin, MO, which expands the company's Sanders brand to nine Southern states. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Launches New Providence Agriculture Location In Indiana
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings — ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100 — has established a new retail location in New Castle, IN, which will operate as part of Pinnacle's Providence Agriculture brand. Read More
Carl Casale of CHS
CropLife 100Cooperative CHS Returns $518 Million To Owners
February 23, 2015
The 2015 cash return to owners is based on CHS net income of $1.1 billion, the company's second highest on record. Read More
Latest News
FungicidesSyngenta Suing Willowood Over Azoxystrobin Fungicide
March 27, 2015
Syngenta announced today that it has sued agrochemical maker Willowood, LLC., for patent and copyright infringement, as well as unfair Read More
ManagementRetail Week: The Future Of Mycogen Seeds; The 4Rs At Na…
March 27, 2015
Editors Eric Sfiligoj and Matt Hopkins discuss recent trips, including a look at the future of Mycogen Seeds at Dow Read More
Eric SfiligojMonsanto Hears The WHO
March 27, 2015
Another challenge to the safety of glyphosate, and the responses from supporters and opponents, calls to mind a classic Dr. Seuss story. Read More
Industry NewsMonty’s Plant Food Expands Sales Team
March 27, 2015
Monty’s Plant Food Company, a leader in natural soil enhancement and  plant fertility products, has hired Andrew Bullock as a Read More
Crop InputsSyngenta Louisiana Plant Poised For 2015 Production
March 26, 2015
As the 2015 planting season gets underway, growers across the country will need crop protection products to combat pests and Read More
Lake Erie Nutrient Stewardship
LegislationOhio Lawmakers Finalize Phosphorus Restrictions
March 25, 2015
State lawmakers on Wednesday finalized new rules designed to curb toxic algal blooms on Lake Erie, calling the regulations a major step forward in addressing the problem. Read More
Spreaders17 Fertilizer Spreaders For 2015
March 25, 2015
Manufacturers shoot for versatility and accuracy in this year's crop of fertilizer spreaders. Read More
Industry NewsMonty’s Hires Mid-South Product Consultant
March 25, 2015
Monty's Plant Food Co. has hired Matt Woodring as a Product Consultant for portions of Central Kentucky and Tennessee.    Read More
StewardshipMapShots Integrates With DriftWatch
March 23, 2015
Growers and agricultural providers using AgStudio FARM and AgStudio PRO can now view vital information about specialty crops and apiaries through a recent integration with the DriftWatch Specialty Crop Site Registry from FieldWatch, Inc. Read More
Crop InputsWorld Health Organization Report Contradicts Scientific…
March 23, 2015
A new report from the World Health Organization has classified glyphosate with a “2A” rating as a probable carcinogen, a Read More
Eric SfiligojSeed Treatment Stays Necessary
March 20, 2015
Grower-customers looking to scale back spending in 2015 won’t consider seed treatment, say experts. Read More
HerbicidesMARCH MADNESS: Industry Rallies Around Glyphosate Safet…
March 20, 2015
A newly published report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies the herbicide glyphosate as a "2A-rated possible carcinogen" and the ag industry responds by circling the wagons. Read More
ManagementRetail Week: Precision survey, a technology acquisition…
March 20, 2015
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sflilgoj discuss recent travel, the upcoming precision adoption survey, and an unusual sighting at a 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
Crop InputsBioSafe Launching TerraGrow Soil Inoculant
March 20, 2015
TerraGrow is a blend of beneficial bacterial and fungal spores and nutrients carefully designed to promote healthier soil and crops. Read More
Winter Wheat
AdjuvantsMax Systems Debuts New Adjuvant NanoRevolution 2.0
March 18, 2015
Added to a tank mix of glyphosate at the conservative rate of two to four ounces per acre, NanoRevolution 2.0 has proven effective in killing resistant weed species that had already had up to two applications of the leading glyphosate product. Read More
Photo credit: United Soybean Board/the Soybean Checkoff
Seed/BiotechAgnition Launches Microbial Catalyst Seed Treatment
March 18, 2015
Agnition it has launched Commence for Soybeans, a microbial catalyst seed treatment for soybeans that stimulates microbial activity for healthier soil and a superior growth environment. Read More
4R Certified, Nutrient Stewardship Council,
StewardshipTyler Grain & Fertilizer Now 4R Certified
March 18, 2015
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced Tyler Grain & Fertilizer Co. in Smithville, OH, has been added to Read More