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International news in brief – September/October 2018

| November 1, 2018
  • Registration of three new products

BASF has started the global registration initiatives for two new herbicide active ingredients. The company submitted the regulatory dossier for Luximo™ herbicide in the European Union (EU) and in Australia and for Tirexor™ herbicide in Australia as well. These steps are important milestones in expanding BASF’s global herbicide portfolio. The two compounds are claimed to have demonstrated excellent performance against a broad range of difficult-to-control grasses and broadleaf weeds and are expected to help growers worldwide safeguard their crops while managing the ongoing challenge of herbicide resistance.

“BASF has a long history for more than seven decades of successful herbicide research and development. Luximo™ and Tirexor™ are the latest solutions, and outstanding examples, of our commitment to develop new active ingredients to keep crops healthy and maximize yields” said Markus Heldt, President of the BASF Crop Protection division. “The constant and close exchange with our customers has helped us to find the right, effective solutions answering growers’ challenges: support for resistance management, environmental-friendly approaches and fast acting solutions.”

Luximo™ is the breakthrough herbicide at the heart of complete grass weed management programs. The active ingredient provides pre-emergence, residual control against a broad range of grasses, including difficult-to-control blackgrass and ryegrass in winter cereals. The molecule boasts a novel mode of action that controls grasses that have developed resistance. With no known cross-resistance, Luximo™ strengthens existing integrated weed management systems for sustainable resistance management.

Tirexor™ is a new protoporphyrinogen oxidase (PPO) inhibitor herbicide offering the unique capability to control PPO-resistant weeds including tough-to-control pigweed and ragweed species. The new herbicide is fast-acting, with foliar effects that can occur in as little as one day. Tirexor™’s anticipated global uses include application on a wide array of crops including small grain cereals, corn, soybean, pulse crops, oil palm, and numerous tree fruit and nut crops.

The two new herbicides Luximo™ and Tirexor™ are expected to help growers worldwide successfully safeguard their crops while managing the ongoing challenge of herbicide resistance.
They will be joined by Pavecto®, a new fungicide developed jointly with Sumitomo Chemical.

In addition, it is the first new mode of action for the foliar burndown of grass weeds in 20 years, offering a new tool for control of ryegrass ahead of crop planting. As a flexible herbicide, Tirexor™ also provides residual and burndown control of certain grass and broadleaf weeds and will be a pre-eminent means for the control of wild radish, ryegrass, capeweed, and many other weeds of issue in Australian cereal crops.

Pending regulatory approval, BASF expects first market introductions of Luximo™-based product formulations as early as 2020 in Australia and 2021 in Europe. Also pending regulatory approval, BASF anticipates Tirexor™-based product formulations to be introduced in Australia from 2020 onwards. Further regulatory submissions of the registration dossier for both herbicides are planned in key markets globally.

Not content with adding two new herbicides to the farmer’s portfolio, BASF along with Sumitomo Chemical have announced that under a joint development framework Sumitomo Chemical has submitted a registration application in the EU for the novel fungicide compound with the ISO common name metyltetraprole1. The fungicide, discovered by Sumitomo Chemical, will be trademarked as Pavecto®.

The compound belongs to a group of fungicides known as Quinone outside Inhibitors (QoI), and with the chemical structure tetrazolinone, represents novel chemistry in this group. Pavecto® differs from existing QoI fungicides because it controls pathogens that have developed resistance towards strobilurin fungicides currently available on the market. Through their collaboration, both companies have demonstrated that Pavecto® is a highly effective fungicide for the control of a broad range of diseases, including Septoria leaf blotch in wheat. In addition, Pavecto® will play an important role in resistance management, providing growers with an innovative tool to protect their crops and secure yields.

Kimitoshi Umeda, Associate Officer in charge of AgroSolutions Division-International at Sumitomo Chemical said, “This novel fungicide, Pavecto®, will become an effective solution to control major diseases and help growers improve their productivity and profitability. Pavecto® will be submitted for registration in more countries, and we look forward to making Pavecto® formulated products available to more growers around the world.”

“Agriculture is a dynamic market, with ever-changing needs and challenges. Pavecto® will complement our fungicide portfolio delivering our promise to support farming with new solutions and technologies,” said Livio Tedeschi, Senior Vice President BASF Crop Protection Europe. “We aim to provide growers across Europe with much needed new tools via several high-performing formulations complemented by existing active ingredients and compounds from our pipeline.”

  • Bananas under worldwide attack

Bananas all around the world are being attacked by a soil-dwelling fungus. Tropical race 4 (TR4) is the name given to the strains of fungus that cause what is commonly known as Panama disease or Fusarium wilt of banana. This disease causes plants to wither and die.

There are more than 1,000 varieties of bananas produced and consumed in the world, but the most common is the Cavendish banana. Bananas are one of the most important food crops and subsistence foods worldwide.

Photo by Andrey Câmara

The soil-dwelling fungus cannot be controlled using fungicides and cannot be eradicated from soil using fumigants. Currently, there is no effective treatment for TR4 once it has infected a banana plant. In addition, the fungus can be transmitted through planting materials, and infested soil particles carried by things such as clothes, water or vehicles. Moreover, the fungus can remain dormant in the soil for decades.

In our globally connected world, the spread of TR4 is limitless. For this reason, TR4 is considered the biggest threat to banana production worldwide.

The ICPP congress is held every 5 years and is one of the largest international plant pathology meetings. This meeting is crucial in developing new strategies and making progress globally. The session on TR4 was setup to facilitate exchange and debate about the TR4 threat.

The meeting provided those attending with the latest status regarding TR4, while highlighting the extreme urgency to find a solution. Scientists discussed the solutions that have been explored and where these have led to. Most importantly, scientists exchanged ideas to formulate new theories in the hope of stopping TR4.

Reiterating the urgency, the ICPP congress made it clear to all those who attended that it is essential we build a global coalition for sustainable banana production. To do this, we need to involve all stakeholders across the logistic chain and consider every threat.

In the past, due to lack of awareness and understanding, the banana industry had not taken action to ensure the sustainability of bananas but rather contributed to the dissemination of the diseases. In our globally connected world, it proved quite easy for this disease to reach almost every corner of the world.

Chiquita made the call to be actively involved in the process to find a solution for banana diseases and aims to influence other stakeholders to make a change, too.

Unfortunately, little is understood about the epidemiology of TR4 but the company hopes progress can be made towards sustainable banana cultivation. Chiquita is planning to become the leading force in the industry, striving for collaboration, expansion, innovation, and rejuvenation from the entire banana industry to fight against TR4.

  • Red Dorados certification training

In September, Bayer Argentina launched the “Certification Training for Red Dorados” (The Red Dorados is a network of exclusive dealers) initiative, which aims to collaboratively mobilise distributors and producers to certify their soybean production under the standards of Responsible Production of the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) and Certified Sustainable Agriculture (ASC) of AAPRESID (Argentine Association of Producers in Direct Sowing).

Certification is a crucial tool to achieve sustainable production of soybeans and other crops that meet environmental, business and social criteria. For this reason, Bayer and RTRS have a strategic partnership and since 2015 have worked together to certify Brazilian farmers according to RTRS standards.

The initiative “Certification Training for Red Dorados” involves various informative meetings and training on the market situation, international demand, sustainable production and the role of certification. It expects to reach more than 100 producers through six dealers from the Provinces of Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, Córdoba and Tucumán as a pilot project in this first phase in 2018. The purpose of these meetings is to encourage Argentine producers to implement holistic sustainable production practices that allow them to produce soy with certified social and environmental responsibility.

Bayer together with AAPRESID (ASC) and RTRS will explain the importance of implementing and certifying sustainable agricultural processes and the requirements to achieve them. AAPRESID, RTRS and Bayer will also present the results, the impact and the benefits of certification, and finally they will share the commercial opportunities in the framework of an increasingly demanding international market.

International news in brief: People in Pest control…read more.

International news in brief: Company News…read more.

  • And Finally…The march of the drones

It may not yet be legal to use drones for spraying crops in the UK but the march of the drones continues. The National Centre for Precision Farming (NCPF) at Harper Adams University and XAG, one of the world’s largest drone and robotics companies, have recently formed a strategic academic and research partnership.

XAG, a Chinese company which was founded in 2007, focuses on agricultural automation and research and development of unmanned devices. XAG is one of the world’s largest agricultural drone manufacturers with a large-scale manufacturing and operational centre in China.

Over a period of 12 months XAG crop-spraying drones have flown 1.7 million times in total, served more than 700,000 chinese farmers covering two million hectares of land. In September 2017 over 130,000 hectares of cotton in the Xinjiang province of China were treated using 1,000 drones and more than 600 teams of operators.

Justin Gong, Co-Founder and Vice President of XAG, said: “As the strategic partnership has been officially established, I am sincerely looking forward to the collaborations between XAG and Harper Adams University to develop localised done and robotic solutions which suit the UK and European farmers.

“We hope our technology can equally serve UK and European farmers, to help them improve productivity using sensors mounted on the drones to monitor the condition of the crop and subsequently only applying the chemical precisely on areas requiring treatment.”

“In addition, we would like to research into AI technologies and ground-based robots to free up farmers’ hands, and to accelerate the popularisation of drones. With HAU’s research strengths on agriculture and sustainable farming, I believe we can make the most of our joint potential.”

Parmjit Chima, Head of Engineering at Harper Adams, said: “It’s great to see the university being recognised as a leader in agricultural drone and robotics technology by XAG in this mutually beneficial collaboration to develop new agri-tech solutions for farmers both at a national and international level.”

Harper Adams Research Support and Project Lead, Debbie Heeks said: “At present, UK legislation does not permit the use of drones for crop spraying. However, Harper is working closely with the relevant authorities, such as CAA and others to enable trials involving drones for the first time in the country.”

“At the recent Agricultural Innovation Conference and Exhibition, XAG donated a high specification agricultural spraying drone to Harper. The P20 2018 Plant Protection UAS, named Barbara, is a fully autonomous system. It was presented to us by Justin Gong, Bridge Liu and Walter Chen.

“It’s a very clever system and it’s very exciting that we have the opportunity to work with it and XAG. We hope that our work with the system will help strengthen the case for using crop spraying drones in the UK.”

Published in International Pest Control – September/October 2018 issue


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Category: International Pest News, news in brief

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