12 June 1998

Triazoles set for shake-out?

A BIG shake-out of the triazole fungicide market is forecast for next spring as the last of the groups new launches arrives in the UK.

"In Continental countries such as Germany and Belgium, where strobilurins have been available longest, the older, weaker conazoles are definitely feeling the squeeze," says Antony Goulds, Cyanamid Agricultures fungicide product manager.

The process will accelerate with the arrival of Cyanamids new fungicide metconazole. "It is the most active of the third-generation conazoles and will be as good a partner for the strobilurins as epoxiconazole, if not better," claims Dr Goulds. Much of metconazoles activity and good crop safety derives from the way it is formulated, he claims.

"We have done a lot of formulation work and that is largely why it has taken so long to get the product on to the market," he says. "It has enabled us to push the full rate down to only 90g/ha active ingredient, the lowest for a third-generation conazole."

That is significantly lower than the 125g for epoxiconazole and 250g for tebuconazole, and reduces crop scorch.

"Growers do not want a strobilurin partner that knocks hell out of the flag leaf," notes Dr Goulds.

Cyanamid is seeking approval for metconazoles use on wheat, barley and oilseed rape. Most cereal foliar pathogens are controlled, plus all species of Fusarium.

Used at flag-leaf emergence, the product is strong on Septoria and rusts in wheat, with curative activity helping to extend the application window for strobilurin mixes.

In barley, significantly better Rhynchosporium and net blotch control is possible, while rape control includes Sclerotinia (with an MBC), phoma and light leaf spot, says Dr Goulds.

The product also has good plant growth regulator activity in rape, which will aid crop canopy management, he adds.

Triazole fungicides are set for a tussle when metconazole arrives in the UK, says Antony Goulds.