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Abundant choices

There’s no shortage of crop protection choices for just about any problem a grower might face in the 2014 season, including a number of new options registered in time for this spring

images of canola, potato, wheat, and lentils

We are a fortunate lot, here in Canada, when it comes to controlling pests in our crops. We have access to literally hundreds of products which can be used alone or in tank mixes to control just about any weed, insect, or disease we might encounter in any crop we are likely to grow. In fact, one might argue that for some pest problems, we have so many possible solutions that it becomes confusing.

For instance, let’s assume you are interested in controlling wild oats and millet in your spring wheat. You might be surprised to learn that there are 121 registered treatments available. Or perhaps you want to spray for late blight in your potato crop. There you will be faced with deciding between 47 registered treatments. But topping the list is glyphosate, with 120 registered brands. Fortunately, we only need to choose between the 26 or so that are actually being sold right now.

Although we already have multiple ways to control just about any pest, chemical companies continue to invent new active ingredients, assemble novel co-packs of already existing products, or simply expand labels by adding new crops or pests. Each of these innovations is submitted to the PMRA (Pest Management Regulatory Agency at Health Canada) where they are reviewed, and if found to be safe and effective, receive approval for release to sale.  In a typical month, the PMRA approves 50 to 75 new registrations, adding hundreds of newly approved pesticidal treatments to the already long list of options.

As we approach another planting season, you will once again be faced with wading through a list of control options to decide which products to use in each crop/field situation. Your decision will now also include many new products or treatments that were not available last spring. There are far too many new registrations to go through in this article, but I have highlighted a few that especially caught my eye.


canola-field-RGBDuPont’s Lumiderm insecticidal seed treatment contains the Group 28 active ingredient cyantraniliprole. It provides up to 35 days control of flea beetles plus early-season control of cutworms (striped and crucifer) to get your seedlings off to a strong start. DuPont Lumiderm is for use in commercial seed treatment facilities only, not for use in on-farm treating equipment. Lumiderm would typically be mixed with either Prosper or Helix to provide broad-spectrum control of seedling diseases and insects. Together, these products should be more than a match for whatever attacks your early-season canola crop.

DuPont Crop Protection also received approval for the use of Acapela fungicide to control sclerotinia (white mould) in canola. The active ingredient in Acapela is picoxystrobin, a Group 11 (strobilurin) product which has the ability to move across, into and around the leaf to deliver preventive and residual activity. Sclerotinia is one of the most economically damaging diseases of canola, so new control tools are always welcome.


Field_potato_flower-filephoto-RGBBASF has approval for Outlook, a Group 15 herbicide to be applied on potato crops as a pre-emergent after potatoes are planted and before the crop and weeds emerge. The product is registered for residual control of foxtails, crabgrass, old witchgrass, barnyard grass and fall panicum, and for suppression of yellow nutsedge. Outlook contains the same chemistry as BASF’s Frontier Max, which some growers may have experience with. With this product, rainfall is needed within seven to 10 days of treatment to activate and move the chemical into the soil zone. Otherwise a shallow cultivation or a rotary hoe will be needed.

Bayer CropScience Canada announced the registration of Luna Tranquility as a foliar fungicide for potatoes. Luna Tranquility is an all-in-one formulation that includes new Group 7 (fluopyram) and Group 9 (pyrimethanil) modes of action. It provides disease protection against the leaf spot complex (early blight and brown leaf spot), white mould, and black dot. While there are plenty of choices for potato disease control, Luna Tranquility is the only one that offers a combination of Groups 7 and 9 modes of action.


canstock_wheat_field_harvest-RGBWheat growers can now mix either Varro or Simplicity with Nufarm’s popular Enforcer D herbicide (2,4-D, fluroxypyr and bromoxynil) to expand the weed spectrum. Enforcer D contains Group 4 and Group 6 herbicides which are effective on a good range of broadleaf weeds, especially Russian thistle, stinkweed, narrow-leaved hawk’s beard and redroot pigweed. The addition of either Varro or Simplicity expands the weed spectrum to control many common annual grasses and broadleaf weeds plus offers another (Group 2) mode of action. While these new tank mixes are not rocket science, the multiple modes of action and broad range of weed species controlled make this worth a look.


Lentils-0004-filephoto-RGBBASF Canada is now supporting the use of ARES herbicide on Clearfield lentils. ARES provides residual control over a wide spectrum of grassy and broadleaf weeds including cleavers, lamb’s quarters, wild oats, wild buckwheat, and volunteer canola. ARES can be applied from the one- to nine-node stage on Clearfield lentils. With two active ingredients, ARES provides flushing control of select weeds, including Roundup Ready and LibertyLink volunteer canola.

These are just a small taste of what’s new for 2014. There is always a flurry of new product announcements as we approach planting time. I will try to keep you informed of the more exciting ones in future articles, but in the meantime keep an eye on the farm magazines, attend the farm shows, and bookmark some good electronic farm media sites. If it’s new and important, it won’t be kept a secret for long.

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