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Living with cereal fungicide resistance

Published on 30/09/2021

Commercial manager Daren Mabey says while that impact may vary depending on the season, its effects can be devastating when conditions favour disease.

He says one of the advantages of Adama’s strong global network is being able to draw on and share a wealth of first-hand knowledge and experience which has helped inform their approach. From the beginning, the crop protection company took a pre-emptive stance.

This included bringing global fungicide authority and Adama UK technical specialist Andy Bailey to this country in 2017 to talk to field officers and advisors. At that point, resistance was running rampant in the Northern Hemisphere but had yet to make its presence felt in NZ.

Speaking recently from his home in England and reflecting on the UK’s most recent experiences with resistance, Andy Bailey doubled down on his advice on multi-site chemistry.

He says fungi’s ability to mutate and to expose single-site chemistry is unrelenting. “Resistance is an almost inescapable outcome of the interaction between single-site fungicides and disease.”

A grim prognosis on the surface of it. Yet, Bailey says, the answers are there if the industry is prepared to be more agile in its response.

“Things have to change, and we have to adapt to the way multi-sites fit into that whole system.

“Multi-site protectants such as Adama NZ’s Phoenix Fungicide should be the first thing in the tank. Folpet, the active in Phoenix, is definitely extending the life of single-site chemistry including newer chemistry such as Questar, Revystar, Vimoy Iblon and Caley Iblon.

“It’s all about carefully planned chemistry programmes.” The consistency and reliability of folpet is unarguable, he says.“ It will do the same year after year after year.”

This gives new chemistry a robust safety net: “Single-site will always be vulnerable. You absolutely have to have folpet in the programme.”

Adama New Zealand says its advice is to ensure Phoenix is first in the tank.  Application at T1 in wheat, with a DMI such as Bolide, is strongly recommended and supported by industry bodies.

If only one spray of Phoenix is being applied in barley, T2 is the optimum timing. This ensures that leaves 2 and 3 are protected.

For best results though, a programmed approach suggests even higher levels of Ramularia control when using Phoenix at both T1 and at T2. These applications maximise the crop’s green leaf area index to maximise yields by promoting healthy spikelet and ear development.

Adama recommends partnering Phoenix with Bolide or other triazole chemistry for both Septoria and Ramularia control. Bolide is an all-rounder DMI fungicide, featuring an innovative combination of epoxiconazole and prochloraz. It is taken up via the stem and foliage and translocated upwards and outwards, providing some protection for new growth.

Phoenix is now also approved for use on green feed crops (including silage) with a 28-day withholding period.

For more information contact Adama or visit

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