Australia: Short withholding a winner in berry crops
06 February 2023, Australia: Like most berry growers, Paradise Fruits battle Botrytis grey mould in their crops every season.
Located at Elimbah on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, Paradise Fruits have 12 hectares of raspberries under tunnels as well as a nursery for growing plug plants for strawberry growers.
Farm Manager Brett O’Neill said they trialled MIRAVIS® Prime fungicide for Botrytis last year and after seeing good results, have incorporated it into their disease management program this season.
“We trialled the product last year in our strawberry nursery where we can get a lot of Botrytis. Some tunnels were sprayed with MIRAVIS® Prime, some with Switch® and some were unsprayed” said Mr O’Neill.
“We saw good enough results in our trial to start using MIRAVIS® Prime in our raspberry crops this season.”
Although Botrytis is always present, it generally only becomes a problem in cool and wet weather when the fungus is able to infect plant tissue. Botrytis infection during flowering (blossom blight) can prevent fruit from forming and reduce yields. Botrytis can also cause post-harvest fruit rot later in the season. Therefore, preventing infection from occurring in the first place is critical and flowering is the most vulnerable stage of the crop.
At Paradise Fruits, the raspberry growing season runs for 12 months of the year, using a prima cane and floricane production system in coir bags.
“We’ve already applied MIRAVIS® Prime once this year during flowering when rain was forecast, and conditions were favourable for Botrytis,” said Mr O’Neill.
MIRAVIS® Prime fungicide inhibits Botrytis infection at four stages of development – spore germination, formation of germ tubes, appressorium development and mycelium growth. Fungi cannot grow on the surface or penetrate the plant. This effectively breaks the disease cycle, while managing the onset of resistance.
MIRAVIS® Prime fungicide contains two actives, incorporating the proven performance of fludioxonil with the powerful active pydiflumetofen.
Pydiflumetofen is a new active ingredient developed by Syngenta that belongs to the carboxamide chemical group (Group 7)It diffuses rapidly into the waxy layer of plants, where it accumulates, then moves slowly into the leaf tissue via translaminar movement. The other active ingredient is fludioxonil (Group 12), a contact fungicide that adheres to the outer cuticle of the plant to form a protective barrier.
MIRAVIS® Prime fungicide can be applied at any stage of berry production, from flowering through to just prior to harvest.
“The single day with holding period of MIRAVIS® Prime is a major advantage when we have flowering and fruiting going on at the same time and we’re picking at all stages of the year,” said Mr O’Neill.
MIRAVIS® Prime fungicide should be applied preventatively as part of a protectant program with applications beginning when conditions favour disease development and before symptoms develop. With a maximum of two applications per crop, MIRAVIS® Prime fungicide offers excellent protection when used in rotation with fungicides from alternate modes of action.
“With its short withholding period, we will choose MIRAVIS® Prime rather than our traditional fungicides,” said Mr O’Neill.
MIRAVIS® Prime fungicide is registered for Botrytis in all berries, including raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, dewberries and currants in both field and protected cropping. It is rainfast within an hour and the suspension concentrate formulation offers good compatibility with other crop protection products.
Mr O’Neill explained that “it’s good to have something up your sleeve for later in the season. We can save MIRAVIS® Prime for high humidity warmer periods during harvest, especially towards Christmas.”
When applied in strawberries for Botrytis, MIRAVIS® Prime fungicide also has activity on powdery mildew.
“I know of strawberry growers in the area who are using MIRAVIS® Prime and raspberry growers as well,” said Mr O’Neill.
“MIRAVIS® Prime is definitely going to be part of our disease management program in the future.”
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