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Jake Rademacher, Agronomist with Growers Supplies

Local trials guiding most effective fungicide decisions in SA

THE power of local research trials to assist crop management decisions is well recognised and has become a key tool for the team at Growers Supplies on the southern Yorke Peninsula of South Australia and its support to the region’s growers.
Jake Rademacher, Agronomist with Growers Supplies

Jake Rademacher is in his 11th season as an Agronomist with the Growers Supplies business at Warooka and mainly supports growers south of Maitland on the peninsula, which is largely dominated by cereal-lentil cropping enterprises.

Jake said data from the business’ local crop research and development program provided confidence to growers for their applications and this had played a strong role in the case of fungal diseases in wheat, also considering the reduced sensitivity to fungicides in various growing regions. “Seeing how much the fungicide resistance and reduced sensitivity map is expanding has been quite concerning,’’ Jake said.

“Fungicides that work well in other areas also may not work so well here, which makes our local research so important.’’

He said septoria, powdery mildew and rust were the three main diseases in wheat in the area and the local trials showed using Proviso ® fungicide as a base, before mixing it with other tank mix partners according to the specific disease targeted, achieved the best results.

“We are getting much better results when we are using Proviso compared to some older fungicides available. It gives a good base for fungicide applications, and then strobilurin or another DMI (demethylation inhibitor) fungicide can be added to the mix depending upon what disease is being targeted."

Proviso with tank mix partners is working better and this is also assisting fungicide resistance management strategies.

“All our recommendations with Proviso come from our local fungicide response trials. This year we will have a powdery mildew trial site at Warooka and will be looking at some of the newer fungicides and their performance with Proviso as a tank mix partner, as well as the effectiveness of another ADAMA fungicide, Maxentis®.’’

Proviso is a novel prothioconazole fungicide from ADAMA Australia and also features the company’s unique Asorbital™ technology, which enables enhanced uptake and systemic activity for improved efficacy, compatibility and crop safety.

In addition to wheat, it also can be used in barley, oats and canola in mixes with other crop protection and nutrition products at flexible application timings to help improve control of a broad range of diseases.

Jake said designing suitable fungicide mixes for when several diseases occurred in wheat crops had proved a significant challenge, however Proviso was now offering vital flexibility.

“The biggest weapon against this has been selecting more resistant varieties, however Proviso is giving us the flexibility to choose the correct tank mix partner for the targeted disease and to achieve the best result.’’

He said many Proviso fungicide mixes were being applied around the first node crop growth stage, also successfully with herbicides and trace element fertilisers.

“With the majority of broadleaf herbicides we have applied it with, there have been no problems with crop phytotoxicity or weed control effectiveness.’’

Jake said growers through the area typically apply two to three fungicide applications depending upon seasonal conditions and they look to rotate products to alleviate the pressure on fungicides.

“We rotate as best we can. We try to use Proviso only once at first node, then we may come back with another DMI and strobilurin mix later.’’  

Ashley Pilkington, Market Development Manager with ADAMA Australia in SA, said Proviso was enabling growers to create specialist spray applications in their programs according to the target disease.

“By containing just the one active ingredient in prothioconazole, growers can mix and match it with other active ingredients and custom-design their own brew,’’ Ashley said.

“It’s excellent crop safety allows for good tank mix combinations and, as a result, improved disease control.’’

He said Proviso also was strongly used in canola in SA last year for blackleg protection, where it performed well with early grass sprays applied at the four to six-leaf stage.

Proviso is expected to have a good fit in oat crops as well, especially with its 14-day withholding period compared with three-week periods for some other products.

“It’s a great option if, after applications near grain-fill, crops get frosted and then may need to be cut for hay and sold,’’ Ashley said.