SDHI fungicides are growing in popularity for use in cereal disease control programmes
SDHI fungicides are growing in popularity for use in cereal disease control programmes, even when disease pressure is low, reports BASF. Dominic Kilburn writes.Despite low levels of disease in crops during 2013 and an overall reduction in the volume of fungicides used on cereals that year, SDHI fungicide products increased their market share compared with other chemical classes such as triazoles and strobilurins, which all saw declines (in value share) when compared with 2012.That’s according to crop protection company BASF, which says that the overall cereal fungicide market decreased in value by 21 per cent in 2013, mainly because of a dramatic drop in winter cereal plantings (the winter wheat area was down 20.5 per cent and winter barley down by 22.5 per cent). Also, with a large proportion of the crop drilled late that season, some T0 applications were scrapped and many T1 and T2 timings merged in 2013 – all contributing to a reduction in the use of fungicides.”The fact that the SDHI share grew in a year when the overall market was smaller was a surprise,” commented BASF’s cereal fungicides product manager, Peter Hughes speaking at a briefing in London recently. “However, while the crop’s potential was questioned in 2013, it’s clear that advisers and farmers are aware that SDHIs can deliver more – there’s plenty of evidence in trials showing that triazoles used on their own can’t perform as well as SDHIs,” he added.Peter noted that despite the winter wheat area being down last season, an increase in the use of chlorothalonil was also recorded; an indication that advisers and growers are concerned with resistance management and ensuring that the protection of their crops against septoria is maximised.
According to a survey of 40 independent advisers in October 2013, the main products recommended for use at the T1 timing in 2013 were Tracker (boscalid + epoxiconazole) at 55 per cent; Bravo (chlorothalonil) at 52.5 per cent and Proline (prothioconazole), 40 per cent. Although starting from a low base in 2013; Tracker, Aviator (bixafen + prothioconazole), Vertisan (penthiopyrad) and Seguris (epoxiconazole + isopyrazam) are all expected to have more usage at the same timing this year.
For T2; Adexar (epoxiconazole + fluxapyroxad) and Aviator were the most popular products of choice and both are predicted to have increased use in 2014; however fewer advisers anticipate reducing Adexar use compared with Aviator. New SDHI Vertisan is expected to see the greatest increase in use at T2 in 2014 compared with 2013; however, as the most recently introduced SDHI, is starting from a very low base.”Bravo remains important at T2 as well as at T1, and the strobs Amistar Opti (azoxystrobin + chlorothalonil) and Comet (pyraclostrobin) are also still valued at that timing,” said Peter.
“The survey demonstrated that advisers are continuing to use more of the better products, while septoria, yellow rust and yield improvement are the most important characteristics for advisers when making their SDHI selection.”No one can predict the weather anymore and so protection is the name of the game,” stressed Peter. “Septoria and yellow rust are looking like the big threats in 2014 and SDHI choice should be based on likely disease spectrum anticipated and the risk, and using the most appropriate tools for the job.”