A completely new approach to PCN control as well as new potato and sugar beet herbicide technology updates were among key areas of interest at a Bayer Field Day, staged near Long Sutton, Lincolnshire in early July. Dominic Kilburn attended.
Offering lower dose rates than existing granular chemistry targeted at potato cyst nematode (PCN) control, crop protection company Bayer is planning to introduce a product based on a widely used fungicide which also has nematicide activity.
Currently in the approvals system, coded AR 83685 is based on fluopyram – an active found in several existing fungicide mixtures – and trials to date have shown positive results in reducing PCN numbers while also boosting yield.
Speaking at the event, Bayer campaign manager for root crops, Edward Hagues, suggested that, to date, trial results had been impressive. “We’ve seen better canopies which have resulted in improved yields and we’ve also seen a good affect on nematode numbers,” he explained.
“It’s shown to be good at managing PCN populations – keeping them in check compared with untreated,” he added.
Mr Hagues (pictured left) said that AR 83685 is applied as a liquid at a maximum dose rate of 0.625-litres/ha – either conventionally sprayed and then incorporated during pre-planting cultivations, or in-the-furrow using existing application kit. “People will apply it with whatever system is already established on their farm,” he said.
“It will be a bespoke product formulated especially as a nematicide for potatoes and, while we’ve seen it perform well as a standalone, it’s likely to be used in combination with existing granular nematicide products,” he commented. “Long-term its use will help in the decline of PCN populations and, although it will not be on the label, we’ve also seen activity against free-living nematodes.”
Bayer is hoping to get approval in the UK for the 2019 crop.
Already in use on the Continent for the past 15 years, Bayer is seeking to get approval for the use of a new active to the UK, aclonifen, for pre-emergence herbicide use in potatoes.
Coded SP 01644, Mr Hagues said that aclonifen has good activity on a broad range of weeds including polygonums, fat hen and brassica species, and will help fill the gap in the control armoury now linuron is no longer available.
“Use up of linuron this year has meant there are fewer options left on farm to control weeds in potato crops and so, at a time when growers are fast running out of options, this will offer good activity against a number of weeds,” said Mr Hagues.
He suggested that, as on the Continent, SP 01644 will be mixed with Artist (flufenacet + metribuzin) for use in the UK with typical rates of 2-litres/ha and 2kg/ha respectively.
“Artist on its own offers broad-spectrum weed control in potatoes but the aclonifen, which has a unique mode of action whereby the cotyledon takes up the chemistry before the weed emerges, increases the weed control spectrum further,” commented Mr Hagues.
“We’ve seen the combination perform well in trials on a wide range of weeds including small nettle, charlock and orache and I think that, following approval for use in potatoes, we will see beans and peas on the label, as well as off-label approvals for some vegetable crops.”
Bayer and plant breeder KWS’ on-going collaboration to bring herbicide tolerant sugar beet to the UK market is getting closer, with the potential for the first variety becoming available for the 2020 crop.
Conviso Smart ALS-tolerant sugar beet will provide growers with the opportunity to get broad-spectrum weed control in sugar beet, including weed beet, however only one or two sprays will be required compared with the four or five often used in current beet weed control programmes.
Reducing the number of passes will make weed control management in sugar beet significantly easier, Edward Hagues pointed out.
The herbicide element of Conviso Smart is currently going through the approvals process with CRD and contains 50g foramsulfuron + 30g thiencarbazone.
Foramsulfuron is mainly a leaf contact herbicide – an active already in use in maize – while thiencarbazone works by both leaf and soil, with residual effect.
With a one-spray approach (at 1-litre/ha), Mr Hagues said that application timing will at the 2-4 true leaf stage of key target weed fat hen, while for a 2-spray programme (0.5-litres/ha for each), the second spray would be applied a fortnight after the first.
“As well as good activity against all major weeds in sugar beet, and easier management, it will provide better crop safety compared with current programmes which will, in turn, also provide an uplift in yield,” he added.
As an ALS-inhibitor, resistance management will be an important aspect of its use, concluded Mr Hagues.