30 June 1995

Full control with no check is aim

CEREAL seed treatments which control all the main seed-borne diseases are the goal for a leading seed treatment specialist.

By basing its new products on a tried and tested active ingredient Uniroyal hopes to achieve that without the establishment check associated with triazole-based products.

The firms strategy will exploit carboxins acknowledged strengths, explains Michael Puttock, technical manager in Europe. "It is user friendly and very difficult to go wrong with."

Good control of bunt, loose smut, fusarium and seedling septoria is combined with a boost to early seedling growth, he maintains. In company trials Vitaflo (carboxin + thiabendazole) has stimulated growth, enhancing root development and shoot growth. That ensures good, fast establishment, even when the seed-bed is not ideal. Greater flexibility in seed-bed preparation and drilling depth is a result, he adds.

The next step is to launch a carboxin/thiram mix next autumn. Adding thiram should boost leaf stripe control in barley from 75% with carboxin alone to nearer 95%. That would create a product suitable for use in wheat and barley, so cutting distribution costs.

Approval hinges upon PSD finding leaf stripe control satisfactory. Mr Puttock claims at least 95% control. He also points out that the combination is approved in over 30 countries, including France.

The combination would also enhance fusarium control. "It would make it more consistent than most products on the market." Indeed, Semevax, the French version, has matched Beret Gold (Fludioxinil) for fusarium control in France, he claims. Loose smut control would be good, although not good enough to retrieve infected seed, he adds. "Some triazole-based products give 100% control in many cases. But is the sterol check on germination worthwhile?" he asks.

Although both active ingredients are well established, the dual product was delayed while new toxicology data was prepared in the US to provide market confidence, says Mr Puttock.

Developments dont stop there. Uniroyal also has carboxin/triazole mixes under development, using the Rohm and Haas triazole miclobutinil. The aim is to achieve 100% disease control, without a check on establishment, by using lower rates of the triazole.

"We will be launching some other complementary products over the next one to three years," comments Mr Puttock. But the most promising mix remains at least three years away," he admits. Foliage control of rusts and mildew would be forfeited in order to avoid a growth check. &#42