Eyespot product is OKd for this side of Channel
By Andrew Blake
INDEPENDENT specialists have welcomed UK registration of a cereal product available to the French for four years but so far denied to growers this side of the Channel.
The claim by manufacturer Novartis that its broad spectrum Unix, based on cyprodinil, gives unprecedented levels of eyespot control cannot be denied, they say.
"It is the best eyespot product around," says ADASs Bill Clark. "It is head and shoulders above prochloraz and flusilazole which give at best about 60% control." 80-90% is not unusual from Unix, which deals with both W and R strains equally effectively, he notes.
Colin Myram of Norfolk based Crop Care agrees. "We have worked with it for several years and in terms of eyespot control it is exceptional.
"It is a step change and will be particularly useful as some of the newer fungicides, for example the strobilurins, are not particularly strong on eyespot."
Although foliar disease control from Unix applications sometimes seems less good than from some other products, the yield benefits are often better, he notes. "We have certainly seen that on numerous occasions."
The new product, for use on both wheat and barley, is also good against mildew, rhynchosporium and net blotch, adds Mr Clark. But he believes maximum benefit will come from using it with other materials in early season mixes. "It is a good tank mix partner for lots of triazoles."
The novel mode of action could help delay onset of fungicide resistant eyespot in this country, he adds. "In France resistance to prochloraz is widespread."
With a broad optimum application timing from GS31-32 Unix offers plenty of mixing flexibility to target the most pressing disease, be it septoria or earlier mildew, says Novartis Neil Waddingham.
Andy Selley for flusilazole maker Du Pont acknowledges the value of the new material. "It is obviously a useful addition to the portfolio, but we need to keep eyespot in perspective."
Last season severe levels were far less significant than first feared, he says.
lUnix will be sold as water dispersible granules in 2kg packs. The price will be competitive in relation to the disease control and yield benefits Unix brings, says Mr Waddingham. Products co-formulated with cyproconazole are under development.
• Unprecedented eyespot control.
• Flexible early season timing.
• Tank mix for full benefit.
• Good partner for strobilurins?