Three Tips for Managing Fungicide Resistance

Managing resistance is an important part of maintaining fungicide efficacy.

When it comes to pest control, manufacturers, retailers and growers share a mission: To preserve the efficacy of available crop protection products. “We must be good stewards of the products we have while investing in technology for the future,” says Mike Cunnane, specialty fungicide and herbicide product manager, DuPont Crop Protection. “Every farm should have a solid resistance management program in place.”

Cunnane shares three principles behind effective fungicide resistance management.

1.   Don’t Wait

Monitor crops closely and make the appropriate fungicide application at the first sign that conditions are favorable for disease development. It’s better to make an early application than to try to clean up a crop that’s significantly infected.

2.   Use the Full Rate

Stretching input dollars with reduced rates is a faulty strategy that can lead to selection pressure and resistant inoculum, leaving growers with few or costly control options. Products with a single active ingredient, such as DuPont Fontelis® fungicide, offer the flexibility to target specific pests with a full rate of the right fungicide and to tank-mix with other products as needed. Less-than-optimal rates and/or repeat exposure to a material contributes to fungicide resistance.

3.   Rotate Modes of Action

While there are many available fungicide brands labeled for fruit and vegetable production, most fall within two families of active ingredients: strobilurins and triazoles. Rotation is critical to preventing development of resistant bacteria and fungi. Fortunately, introduction of SDHI fungicides, including Fontelis®, offers more rotation options.

Cunnane points to the fungicide code list published by the Fungicide Resistance Action Committee (FRAC) as a useful tool when planning a fungicide program. “The list organizes fungicides by mode of action and resistance risk, a real help when deciding on products, rates and rotation schedules.”

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