3 July 1999

Agchems with the action

Tackling take-all head on…

THE race between two take-all seed treatments is on; which will reach the market first? That was the question visitors to Vine Farm were keen to know. These treatments are useful to those considering a longer run of cereals, or continuous wheat, as an answer to Agenda 2000.

With Monsantos product (code named MON655) still in the approvals pipeline, the company is expecting a launch in time for autumn 2000, for wheat and possibly, barley. It will be sold as a standalone seed treatment, which will need to be co-applied with other standard seed dressings. The big question – price – has not been released. Monsanto claims yield improvements of up to 20% depending on how bad the site is for take-all.

.. as rival bids

RIVAL take-all seed treatment fluquinconazole from AgrEvo, following a merger with Rhône- Poulenc to be known in future as Aventis, has the added advantage of some early foliar disease control as well as take-all suppression. Although AgrEvo didnt have a stand at Cereals, this product showed off its potential at the Velcourt section of the event, and had a thumbs-up from the farm management company thanks to good action against early diseases.

Brome beater – and its here

AT LAST – an answer to brome control? New sulfonyl-urea sulfosulfuron from Monsanto (code named MON375) showed its effectiveness against sterile and soft bromes in plots at the Monsanto stand, and at the Velcourt section of the show.

Already approved in Eire, where it is sold as Monitor, MON375 is a spring-applied herbicide with all the low use rate characteristics of its chemical family. It doesnt kill the bromes outright, instead it stunts the plants so that they dont appear above the crop canopy.

The question was raised as to whether a split dose might clobber bromes even better. Other advantages: a strengthening effect on wheat straw and control of couch, rough stalked meadow grass, as well as conrol of a range of broad-leaved weeds including cleavers, mayweed, chickweed, charlock, volunteer rape, shepherds purse, fools parsley and fumitory.

Registration is expected to be in the tail end of 1999, in time for sale for spring 2000.

Blackgrass

breakthrough

BLACKGRASS pre-em product JV485, hailed as a breakthrough in grass weed control because it controls all known types of resistant blackgrass, should be approved in time for autumn 2000. It will be marketed by Twinagro, a joint Bayer/Monsanto company. Trials are continuing on best application technology – the product is sprayed onto the soil surface and this could be done at drilling to save a pass. The active ingredient, which has a completely new mode of action, is to be known as fluazolate. It controls a range of grass and broad-leaved weeds reliably under a range of soil conditions at drilling; only major gaps are spring germinating wild oat and sterile brome. Visitors to Cereals 99 had only two questions: whens it coming out, and how much will it cost?

New pea mix

PEA growers should welcome a herbicide which plugs the gap between sometimes unreliable pre-em products and post-ems which require patience; theres often an uncomfortable wait until use is permitted. But a bentazone/ pendimethalin mix from BASF (BAS527H) can be applied early to the crop, and should be through the approvals pipeline in time for spring 2000 for combining peas. Vining pea growers may have to wait another 12 months for this new herbicide.

Pre-em for rape

ITS new, its a good pre-em rape herbicide (strong on chickweed, good against cleavers) and its a metazachlor mix – but thats as far as BASF will go. The other active ingredient, not yet on the market in the UK, remains a secret, though it is sold in France and Germany, apparently. The product is scheduled to appear in 2001, approval permitting, and goes under the code name BAS632H. BASF expect it to replace Butisan as a similar but better product, but reckon that Katamaran will still be the best choice for cleavers and poppy control in rape.

Beet active

ITS been talked about for some time, but quinmeric has yet to appear as an active on sugar beet. The wait should be over by 2001, according to BASF, when its expected to appear in a proprietary mix with chloridazon as a new residual pre-em BAS523H, with the possibility of use as a top up in later sprays. Weed spectrum over and above the Pyramin type range includes cleavers and fools parsley – a useful alternative pre-em for those growers with specific weed problems. It begs the question as to whether the use of this mix might allow rate reductions with Debut?

Strob attraction

THE new strobilurin from Novartis, trifloxystrobin, was the star feature at the companys stand. Key attribute is "mesostemic power"; in laymans language this means it neither a systemic nor a contact product, but instead locks into the waxy leaf layer and penetrates through the plant tissue from there. Yield boosting activity is similar to current strobilurin products but Novartis claim more persistent, protectant disease control for trifloxystrobin, including mildew. It is scheduled to arrive next spring as a straight, and in a mix with propiconazole for wheat and with cyproconazole for barley.

Whats in the pipeline? Just in case you missed them, heres a taster of the new agchems on

show at Cereals 99