BASF’s potato pipeline – eight new crop protection products
A new independent market study has found that growers are determined to grow potatoes in the future, despite the identified challenges of crop protection losses and increased disease and pest pressures.
The research, commissioned by BASF and carried out by Carol Willey, was presented at a BASF event coinciding with British Potato 2021 and represented the views of those who grow more than 11,367 ha of potatoes for fresh consumption, shredding, crunching and seed production.
The majority of respondents described potatoes as their main source of income, demonstrating the importance of expertise, infrastructure and market access. However, there were real concerns about the fragmented knowledge of sustainable practices within the sector by half of the respondents.
Read more: BASF opens forum for potato growers
On average, 61% of the interviewees’ production was cultivated under contract, and while producers were keen to explore new contracts and increase their production area, there was real concern cited that investment in capital required to increase the range would be difficult to justify.
Many growers also noted that buyers’ size specifications often limited potential yield, and as such, quality was more important than quantity, to provide a significant return on investment.
Independent agronomist Howard Hinds, who spoke at the event, said: “Growers face real challenges. Controlling late blight and alternaria will be more difficult without mancozeb and although there are effective fungicides on the market, some are more vulnerable to resistance degradation.
“We have lost Vydate for nematode control, Linuron for weed control and Biscaya for aphids, and in the case of nematicides the alternatives are limited or have yet to be widely used. The fluctuating weather conditions also allow pests to survive milder winters, which makes climate change a real concern, ”he said.
“While there is a wide range of IPM solutions, from trap crops to wildflower strips, cover crops and nematode sampling, the lack of potential research, with the loss of AHDB, could have real consequences for future innovation. ”
The rise of more aggressive late blight strains is putting pressure on the most potent late blight fungicides on the market and the loss of more than 10 active ingredients to potato growers in recent years – and 50 more. threatened in the future – makes a new innovation vital. .
It costs between £ 250 million and £ 350 million to bring a new asset to market, which can take more than a decade of investment, research and testing. That said, between 2022 and 2024 BASF said it plans to launch eight new products, demonstrating a strong commitment to the potato sector.
For late blight, BAS657 is due for approval in early 2022 and has two unique modes of action, including a multisite. It has systemic mobility with recommendations for early application, four to five weeks after planting, during canopy growth.
“There is only one other systemic fungicide on the market that is unaffected by resistance,” said Paul Goddard, BASF’s director of specialty business development.
“It works best when the plant is strong and growing, so early application is essential. It has an optimized ‘syn-tec’ formulation, allowing actives to target infection and reduce selection pressure, playing a key role in anti-resistance management strategies.
Eurofins and SRUC tests have shown that the top draw protection of BAS657 is comparable to current market standards, including Infinitio and Ranman Top.
Scheduled for approval in late 2021, Revysol (mefentrifluconazole) will now also be available for use in potatoes. Isopropanol-azole was first introduced to the market in 2019 for cereals and has since been developed to support late blight disease control.
Growers may apply up to three applications starting in mid-July, at intervals of at least seven days from basal lateral shoot formation to senescence, BBCH 20-97. BASF’s trials with the fungicide resulted in an average reduction in fire blight of 91.2%, compared with difenoconazole, which provided 79.6%.
Nemaslug 2.0 is a new parasitic mollusc nematode (phasmarhabditis californica) but still has a host spectrum comparable to the original product, with a refined production process to increase yield, providing improved continuity of supply.
A higher focus on loading infective juveniles meets BASF’s broader goal of providing sustainable crop protection products, with smaller packages, reducing plastic requirements by 32.5%.
Already approved and likely to be available for planting in 2023, Honesty (fluxapyroxad) is a tuber treatment with potent control of rhizoctonia, silver scab, blackhead and promising activity against dry rot, gangrene and more.
Mr Goddard said the new SDHI could be a game-changer for the industry: “We are really excited about Honesty as it complements Allstar, which also strongly controls rhizoctonia treatment in the furrow. Its mode of action gives it mobility in the plant, offering maximum control potential.
“It also offers growers another alternative to their program and has the potential to change the way the industry views crop protection. ”
In addition to fungicides and tuber treatments, BASF will market – subject to approval at the end of 2022 – a pre-emergence herbicide, BAS656 (dimethenamid-p), with a new mode of action as a mixer and a year later, the BAS480051, a biological for wireworm damage.
It will also be the first in Europe to launch Axalion, an insecticide developed in-house by BASF without cross-resistance and with a new mode of action. Expected in 2024, it will control biting and sucking pests such as aphids, whiteflies and thrips.
Read more: Perfecting Potatoes Together – New Podcast
BASF said it has been engaged in research and development in the specialty industry for more than two decades, but the combination of a strong product portfolio and the launch of its new ‘Perfecting Potatoes’ initiative ensemble ”places them among the leaders in the potato sector.
Commenting on their new approach, Sophia Sutherland, Specialty Campaign Manager at BASF said: “The UK market loves potatoes! Retail sales are worth over £ 2.5bn and the crop protection market is worth around £ 55m.
“As an industry we need to do everything we can to support producers and that includes accepting that the soil will be moved and the structure changed, so we need to seek to provide information to support good management, before and after. potatoes, in order to reduce the impact on the fields.
“We also understand that potato growers face many challenges and we know that these challenges require a combination of cultural and chemical solutions. By uniting producers, industry experts and BASF professionals, we hope to better understand the problems and find solutions together, ”added Sophia.
The Perfecting Potatoes Initiative is a new platform where growers can find the latest information on sustainable potato cultivation, access podcasts and online webinars, organize trials on their farm, receive agronomic advice. experts and access test events and tours.