Syngenta has launched a new range of fludioxonil-based seed treatments (see panel below) to replace its existing range of products. They all use the company’s new “Formula M” technology to improve distribution of active ingredient on the seed, reduce dust-off and improve flowability.

This enhances seed viability, early vigour and control of seed-borne fusarium over older formulations, says the firm’s Beth Hall.

In trials, 22% less dust was lost from Formula M formulations of fludioxonil compared with old Beret Gold, she says. “If you can get more active ingredient to stay on the seed, you get better control and it will also be better for seed plant operators and growers.”

Early seed-borne fusarium control reduces the risk of subsequent stem or ear inoculation, she adds. “It does not eliminate it, but, as part of an integrated strategy, a good-quality seed treatment can reduce DON mycotoxin levels.”

For extra defence against wireworm or wheat bulb fly, Syngenta’s other new Formula M product, Austral Plus, could be an option, says campaign manager, Garth Bretherton. It will replace Evict, and will be the only seed treatment for controlling seed-borne diseases, wheat bulb fly and wireworm.

In severe wireworm pressure wheat trials two years ago, Austral Plus gave a 0.91t/ha yield increase over a rival neonicotinoid treatment and 1.5t/ha more than Beret Gold + Evict.

ADAS‘s David Green says Austral’s performance in high wheat bulb fly risk areas is equally encouraging. Trials in Cambridgeshire last year saw it give better WBF control than Evict. “Both were high-risk sites. Austral Plus was the only one to give a significant reduction in tillers infected [mean of 29%] compared to the untreated control.”

Being non-triazole-based, fludioxonil has benefits for resistance management, adds Mr Bretherton. “There are no plans to launch it as a foliar product. We want to keep it as a seed treatment to break the potential triazole sensitivity cycle.”

paul.spackman@rbi.co.uk

Formula M is a new seed treatment formulation available for the first time this autumn, says Syngenta’s Beth Hall, pictured with ADAS’s David Green.

Syngenta treatments

Beret Gold & Beret Multi (fludioxonil)

  • Effective against seed-borne fusarium, bunt, covered smut, leaf spot and leaf barley stripe
  • Price unchanged

Austral Plus (fludioxonil + tefluthrin)

  • Controls same diseases as Beret Gold + wheat bulb fly and wireworm
  • Replaces Evict
  • Price similar to Beret Gold and Evict