Company Outlines Field Trials for New Fungicide

New active ingredient - Xemium - from BASF shows enhanced control of problem disease in corn, soybeans and specialty crops.

Published on: Mar 2, 2012

Talk of a new active ingredient with that works on a wide range of problems is always good news for the crop protection industry. BASF, which is on a roll to release nearly 30 new products across a range of product segments in by 2015 talked about the latest field trial data for Xemium, a new fungicide, during the Commodity Classic in Nashville, Tenn., this week.

Xemium, which is a new active, is in the carboxamide family working on a similar disease spectrum as the company's popular strobilurin F500, the active ingredient in Headline. During a media presentation at the Classic the Nick Fassler, technical marketing manager, and Caren Schmidt, technical service representative, talked about a wide range of data from 2011 crop trials.

Xemium has higher intrinsic activity, which means it can be used at a lower rate. The company will premix the new chemistry with F500 in two key products with a targeted registration sometime in 2012. Priaxor fungicide includes a 2 to 1 ratio of pyraclostrobin (F500) to Xemium fungicide and will be labeled for soybeans, potatoes, fruiting vegetables (like tomatoes) oil seed and other row crops.

Merivon - a 1 to 1 ratio of pyraclostrobin and Xemium - is for stone fruits (including peaches and cherries) and pome fruits (including apples).

This approach will put two modes of action into a field for preventive action on a range of disease species, which can help prevent resistance to strobilurin - a concern in the crop protection industry.

Active in row crops

Fassler talked about Priaxor trials in a range of crops, noting that against septoria brown spot in soybeans, the product offers high activity similar to Headline alone. The same is true for its activity to frogeye leaf spot.

"With two active ingredients we're protecting the technology and we're achieving a high level of control," he notes.

From 2009-2011, soybeans treated with Priaxor showed nearly 17 percent less severity of Septoria brown spot and 13 percent decrease in the severity of frogeye leaf spot and compared to untreated soybean acres. "That's a solid level of control under significant pressure," Fassler noted. "Across 65 trials over 3 years in soybeans we're seeing a consistent 3 bushel yield increase." In the trials Priaxor showed a yield increase 87% of the time versus a yield increase 83% of the time for Headline.

He explained that three-bushel number is consistent across the trials, but detailed a high-yield program that incorporates residual herbicides, Priaxor and insecticides that shows a 5 bushel yield advantage.

"We'll be conducting more trials in 2012," he says. "With Priaxor we're seeing 21 to 28 day residual activity."

Specialty crop bonus

Disease issues in stone and pome fruits have plagued the industry, especially as strobilurin resistance has appeared. BASF's Schmidt showed how Merivon performs against key crop diseases in these valuable crops, and will be conducting more trials.

Based in Michigan, Schmidt has been running trials of the new fungicide in apples to control apple scab - a disease that has developed resistance to strobilurin chemistry across the Northeast. In her trial data, Schmidt showed high control rates with disease incidences at 82% for untreated trees, and 1.8% for treated trees. "That's essentially disease free and it is increasing yields and fruit quality, which is important for growers," she explains.

The company is seeing similar results in stone fruits against cherry leaf spot and brown rot too. Endura fungicide has been commonly used on these diseases and Schmidt explains Xemium brings similar control and a new mode of action.

Trials in 2012 will look at spray timings for different crops for best results across a range of conditions.

The active ingredient Xemium awaits registration by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and is not available for sale yet.