6 June 2001
Early launch for blight spray

By Andrew Swallow

POTATO growers will have a new fungicide to help them combat potato blight this season, claims manufacturer BASF.

Early Pesticides Safety Directorate approval will see limited availability of Ranman Twinpack, which contains the novel active ingredient cyazofamid.

BASF had expected to launch Ranman, a protectant blight fungicide aimed at the mid-season market, next year.

Product manager David Marris claims it out-performs all current preventative products, and inhibits the blight fungus in all its guises.

“It is certainly better than fluazinam (Shirlan) on foliage blight, and there is evidence that it out-performs fluazinam on tuber blight,” he said.

Trials by the National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB) support his assertions, based on seven-day treatment intervals to inoculated and misted plots.

“Cyazofamid is holding blight just a bit longer,” said plant pathologist Paul Gans. But tuber blight differences were not statistically significant, he added.

The formulation needs an organosilicon wetter to spread it across the leaf, hence the twin-pack with Ranman TwinPack B.

BASF could not create a ready formulation which combined the two, due to crystallisation problems at high concentrations.

But Mr Marris said this was unlikely to occur once diluted in the tank.

The recommended rate is 0.2l/ha of Ranman TwinPack A plus 0.15l/ha of Ranman TwinPack B (wetter) in 200-400l/ha of water.

Alternating with Invader (dimethomorph + mancozeb) is recommended by BASF, following an Invader-only start to the programme.

Despite limited availability this year, there should be enough for all main crop growers who wish to use the product, maintained Mr Marris.

Distributors will have stocks of the product toward the end of June. However, the price of the chemical has yet to be announced.

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