Crop Protection

Bundaberg grower first in world to use new nematicide

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25 November 2021, Australia: Sweet potato grower Dean Akers, who farms sweet potatoes in the Bundaberg region in Queensland, is the first in the world to use the new Salibro® Reklemel® active Nematicide under commercial conditions.

Mr Akers said he was aware Corteva Agriscience were releasing a nematicide and had followed its progress for a number of years.

“As an industry we have really been looking forward to this and once it was available, I was really keen to get hold of Salibro,” he said.

Salibro has a new mode of action and is a new rotation choice that will help us address any potential resistance issues if they occur.”

The first drum of Salibro is being used in an 80-row field of sweet potatoes which Mr Akers is also using as a trial to test its effectiveness.

“We are leaving five rows at the end which won’t have Salibro applied to it.  At harvest we will take sweet potatoes from both areas and pack them right out and get the full count to see the yield and quality differences.”

He said the major problems for sweet potato growers were nematodes attacking the roots of the plants and causing damage.

 “It’s the biggest pest we have, and it’s been that way for a while now.  We are looking at rotating country and leaving paddocks fallow before coming back in with sweet potatoes and getting additional help from the nematicides.”

Mr Akers said they were aiming at producing a good, clean product and he was sure Salibro nematicide would assist in sending a quality sweet potato to market.

Salibro is applied at four litres per hectare and can be utilised prior to planting or up to 21 days after transplanting depending on the application method.

The initial order from Mr Akers was for 200 litres of product, with the aim of treating their sweet potato crop planted in the latter part of 2021.

“As soon as it became available, I put in an order with Sunfam in Bundaberg,” he said.  “The 200 litres is a good start.”

Corteva Agriscience Central Queensland Territory Manager, Matt Kunde, said there had been a lot of interest from growers with the launch of Salibro.

“We have been able to demonstrate Salibro in local trials against current industry standards and showcase its performance in a range of crop types.

Salibro also has an excellent fit in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs as it selectively targets root knot nematodes and has minimal impact on beneficial nematodes, bacteria or fungi.”

“By leaving beneficial organisms in the soil Salibro promotes more efficient nutrient cycles, better soil structure and allows natural pest and disease suppression to better manage secondary pests.

Mr Kunde said Salibro also offered a path away from some of the older chemistries used for nematode control which could be of concern from a health and safety perspective.

With its superior safety profile this is not the case for Salibro.  As with all products, growers should consult the label and ensure they understand all the directions for use prior to mixing the product.

Mr Kunde said, while Australia was the first country in the world to register Salibro, it had been a global effort to bring the nematicide to market.

“As a result, Corteva has been able to register Salibro across a wide range of crop types that include Cucurbits (field and protected cropping), Fruiting vegetables (field and protected cropping), Root and Tuber vegetables including Sweet Potato.”

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