NovaChem > Industry News > 2020 > Biofungicide gaining ground in grapes.

Biofungicide gaining ground in grapes.

Published on 08/12/2020

TripleX, from Waikato-based BioStart, is ACVM registered for prevention and control of sooty mould in kiwifruit and botrytis in grapes and other crops, and is certified organic.

Developed in NZ, TripleX was launched in 2010, and contains the Bacillus amyloliquefaciens Bs1b microbe as its active ingredient. This inhibits both spore germination and mycelial growth of fungi that cause sooty mould and botrytis.

Biostart CEO Jerome Demmer says the company has now had the microbe’s DNA sequenced and assembled by Dr Beth Joseat Otago University. “We found a large number of anti-microbial genes in the genome, explaining its bioactivity,” he says. 

While its biggest market is in kiwifruit for sooty mould management, TripleX is increasing in favour with grape growers, particularly in the wake of trials showing it can be applied with chemical sprays at flowering and PBC. “It’s compatible with a wide range of fungicides and spraying oils used for botrytis, powdery mildew and downy mildew,” Demmer says. “The benefit for growers is that it allows them to apply over flowering, and thus get a chemical on with a biological product.”

In grapes, TripleX has a nil pre-harvest interval for NZ and a one-day PHI for international markets. It will not affect the wild yeasts needed for fermentation. As a biocontrol agent, TripleX works best when used as a preventative rather than a curative. This means grape growers need to establish populations of B. amyloliquefaciens on the plant prior to key infection periods occurring. Re-applying the product later ensures coverage of plant surface areas.

Demmer says the ideal application timings for TripleX in grapes are at flowering, pre-bunch closure and late season (post veraison). Applying TripleX at pre-bunch closure means B. amyloliquefa-ciens is present inside the bunch to combat Botrytis when it starts its infection cycle.

A trial on chardonnay in HawkesBay found that a TripleX preventative programme at 80 percent capfall and pre-bunch closure, in combination with a conventional botrytis programme, reduced botrytis incidence and severity by 29 percent and 13 percent respectively at harvest in 2019.

As with botrytis applications, for sooty mould management, kiwifruit growers need to start applications before adult passionvine hoppers (PVH) and cicadas become active in their orchards, Demmer says. “The regular re-application of TripleX during peak sooty mould infection periods from January to March will ensure adequate coverage of the developing fruit s maintained.”

Trials showed that TripleX reduced the incidence of sooty mould in Green (Hayward) and Gold (G3) kiwifruit crops in TePuke and Opotiki kiwifruit growing areas and this has been observed on many commercial kiwifruit orchards in the Bay ofPlenty and Northland, he says.

For more detail contact your Biostart territory manager on 0800116 229

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