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Mildew making a come-back in the UK?

Certis' new mildewicide, Cyflamid, was launched in the UK

Powdery mildew could be making a come back after 15 years, according to UAP’s Chris Bean speaking at the launch of Certis’ new mildewicide Cyflamid that became commercially available for the first time this spring.

“Popular new varieties such as Solstice, Ambrosia and Brompton appeal for reasons other than mildew resistance,” said Chris Bean. “We have also seen an increase in oats, a mildew prone crop.”

He explained that these factors have combined after a 15 year period where strobilurin activity and improved variety disease resistance had widely kept infection at bay. “This is no longer the case,” he warned.

With economic drivers increasingly causing a reluctance to spray preventatively Chris Bean noted that morpholines were until this year the most reliable eradicant treatment available. “This year we have been using Cyflamid. It is less harsh on the crop than morpholines and feedback from the field has been that eradicant activity is quick and there is also very strong persistence.”

Dr David Ellerton, technical director at Procam, also presenting at the event, said that one third of the UK winter wheat acreage is vulnerable to mildew. “This is primarily due to the susceptibility of so many key varieties,” he said, noting that Robigus in particular has seen increased vulnerability to infection, despite a disease rating of 8.

He noted that Cyflamid has been widely used in Scotland and the north this season, mostly at T0 and T1 timings for protectant control and where necessary for eradicant activity. “Oats in particular have suffered from mildew, but control has been very successful,” he added.  “With a total of 23 products from either QoI or DMI chemistry, a totally new active ingredient from Cyflamid is a very welcome addition.”

Giving a technical presentation on Cyflamid’s active ingredient cyflufenamid, Mr Mizumo of Nippon Soda, the Japanese company that discovered and developed the treatment, explained that the active has a different mode of action to all other mildewicides. “Powdery mildews have a history of developing strains resistant to varieties and fungicides, but this product has no cross resistance with any products currently available,” he said, noting that the low risk of resistance developing against Cyflamid is combined with label recommendations of a maximum of two treatments per crop.

Trials have revealed cyflufenamid’s good curative action, excellent persistence and translaminar activity through the leaf, as well as vapour action, that results in outstanding levels of control. The high level of activity is also apparent even when used at a very low dose rate. Good control can be achieved at just 7.5g of ai per hectare in tank mixture with other active ingredients that have some activity on powdery mildew. The maximum dose rate is 25g/ha.

Launching and marketing Cyflamid in the UK, Certis’ sales and marketing manager Robert Lidstone outlined that the cereals sector is a new departure for the business, following their introduction of Orange Wheat Blossom Midge monitoring traps last year. While Certis’ core strengths lie in the horticultural crop protection sector, Robert Lidstone expressed their commitment to delivering the same values of IPM, anti-resistance and pesticide reduction strategies through targeted control, for combinable crops. “Cyflamid is unique new chemistry with an exceptionally low dose rate and with its EW (emulsion in water) formulation contains less solvents, reducing the environmental impact. As a targeted treatment with curative and preventive activity against powdery mildew it also fits into an IPM strategy,” he said.