June 21, 2024

Managing Fungicide Resistance in Pulse Crops

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Fungal pathogens can devastate fields and cause significant financial loss. Fungicides are crucial tools in modern agriculture for safeguarding crops and preventing economic losses. However, the rise in fungicide resistance across Western Canada requires a strategic approach to their use.

Identify Your Risk & Know Your Fields

Traditionally, fungicide decisions were based primarily on environmental conditions and climatic factors. While these remain important, they are not the only contributors to disease pressure. High-density planting and row closure can also increase disease risk. “The thick canopying you see in pulse fields creates a humid environment perfect for harbouring disease,” notes Cheyne Ogilvie (Director, Ag Innovation and Stewardship).

Understanding which areas of the field are most susceptible to disease is essential for effective crop management. Satellite imagery can predict where disease pressure is likely to occur, aiding in the identification of risk areas and the preparation of management plans that reduce the likelihood of resistance while maximizing yields. Variable Rate (VR) technology, while not commonly practiced with pulses, offers significant benefits. “Western Canadian farming operations typically spray every pulse acre uniformly; however, we advocate for a targeted variable rate approach, particularly for the second pass in a dual application. This targeted approach can be determined through data-collecting tools, allowing for precise and efficient disease management.”

Use Innovative Product Technologies

New fungicide products offer more effective solutions with multiple modes of action, which are essential for a well-balanced disease management strategy. Delaro Complete, part of the Delaro family from Bayer CropScience, is one such product. It offers three modes of action (Groups 3, 7, 11) to protect against a variety of pulse diseases under all environmental conditions.

“One of the latest pathogens to exhibit resistance is the one responsible for anthracnose in lentils,” explains Ogilvie. “Delaro Complete is unique in managing resistance, including those pathogens resistant to Group 11 fungicides.”

Word of Advice from the CropWatch Agronomic Solutions Team

Ogilvie emphasizes that fungicide resistance can be delayed or prevented. Managing both disease and fungicide insensitivity should follow a multi-disciplinary approach.

Use multiple mode of action products and lean toward broad-spectrum efficacy

“Innovative new products in the marketplace come at pathogens from different directions in their lifecycle. Delaro Complete offers advanced control over major crop disease and under a variety of environmental conditions and disease pressures. It combats anthracnose and ascochyta along with mycosphaerella blight, white and grey mould, and powdery mildew, making it a versatile tool for growers.”

Adhere to application limits

“Resistance can occur when products aren’t used as intended or have not followed agronomic best practices.” Always follow the specified maximum number of applications of any fungicide product per year for each crop and in the field areas it’s required.

Use predictive disease models and integrated disease management

“Our philosophy here at Richardson is to lead with agronomy and support with digital tools. To do this, you need to be rooted in data that generates meaningful insights. We take a holistic approach that includes analyzing historical data, using various data sources to predict when and where disease risk may arise, and leveraging our boots-on-the ground network to recommend quality products and practices that are focused on driving yield.”

Always keep an eye on treated fungal populations. Proactive measures are essential to managing disease and pathogen resistance and getting the most out of your fields.

Contact your local Richardson Pioneer representative to learn more about Delaro Complete. You can also request product information or a personalized quote for your acres through the CropWatch portal.

Cheyne Ogilvie
Director, Ag Innovation & Stewardship
Richardson International