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Addressing the Downsides of Copper-Based Fungicides

Mastercop offers similar disease control with up to 15% less metallic copper, leading to less environmental impact compared to the competition.

Despite their effectiveness in protecting fruit crops from damaging bacteria and fungi, copper fungicides have a number of downsides that create hassles for growers and can even harm crops. ADAMA has been listening to growers’ concerns and, in response, we developed Mastercop Fungicide/Bactericide, an advanced copper sulfate pentahydrate formulation that is easier to use than standard dry copper fungicides.


Fact Acting, No Phyto

Most copper fungicide spray solutions are actually a suspension of copper particles that persist on plant surfaces after the spray dries. The copper ions are then re-activated every time they come into contact with moisture on the leaf. This limited solubility is meant to avoid phytotoxicity. If the pH of water used in spray solutions with these copper products is below 7.0, the solubility of copper increases and more copper ions are released, which can lead to phytotoxicity.

Because it’s already 100% soluble in water, Mastercop is pH independent. It does not require lowering the pH to release its copper ions and it performs well under hardwater conditions up to 600 ppm. Upon application, there is an instant release of copper ions for fast activity against pathogens. Copper ions are immediately bioavailable, without the risk of phyto damage to fruit and foliage.


Suspension vs. Solution

Another problem with traditional dry coppers is that they can settle out during application, clogging equipment and leaving a sludge in the bottom of the tank. As a 100% water-soluble liquid, Mastercop is a friendlier tank mix partner. It is simple to mix, with no dust, and it’s easier on equipment, with no settling or sludge left in the tank. Nozzles and filters don’t get clogged, so there are fewer work stoppages and less cleanup after spraying. And because it fully dissolves in water, there’s no blue residue left on leaves to block photosynthesis or stain fruit.


Smaller Particle Size Improves Coverage and Uptake

Another key to Mastercop’s superior efficiency is its particle size. Mastercop uses BioRetain,™ a optimized formulation technology, to deliver a smaller copper particle size than traditional copper fungicides. The smaller the particle size, the greater the number of particles per gram, thus a larger surface area for better coverage and more effective fungicidal or bacterial activity.

With Mastercop, you get uniform spray coverage that forms a rainfast barrier on the leaf surface.

In addition, the smaller copper particle size easily penetrates the cuticle, where they then move systemically to protect against bacterial and fungal diseases.


Environmental Impact

Mastercop is an Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI)® Listed copper designed for maximum control with minimal environmental impact. Because Mastercop’s formulation makes the copper 98% immediately bioavailable, growers get more performance for every pound of active ingredient (AI) they apply. In fact, Mastercop contains up to 15% less metallic copper than other solutions with same efficacy. Since less metallic copper is applied, soil loading (or build up of copper in the soil) is reduced, making Mastercop a good fit with the EPA’s anticipated reduced metallic copper rates per acre.

Requiring less elemental copper with no sacrifice in performance, Mastercop is the perfect alternative for growers committed to improved stewardship and sustainability practices.

To learn more about how Mastercop, click here.