Global fungicide resistance experts tour Australia
Australian farm consultants and advisors who recently attended Bayer Crop Science’s Innovation Roadshow were given the opportunity to learn from two of the world’s leading fungicide resistance experts.
Consisting of a series of events around Australia in February and March 2018, the “Lets Talk Innovation” Roadshow made stops in Wagga Wagga and Moree (NSW), Adelaide, Perth and Bendigo (Vic).
At each event there were both local staff, as well as experts from Bayer Crop Science headquarters in Monheim, Germany, presenting the latest fungicide technical information and best practice resistance management techniques.
Brand, Advertising and Campaign Manager for Bayer Crop Science, Gareth Sheehan, says the Innovation Roadshow provides an important forum for exchange of information between Bayer and customers.
“The Innovation Roadshow was a great platform for us to share knowledge not only locally, but internationally as well, particularly on the important issue of fungicide resistance,” Mr Sheehan says.
“Bayer’s in a fortunate position to be able to facilitate the sharing of knowledge between industry to get the best results out of both our products, as well as best practice methods for prolonging the lifespan of active ingredients.”
Making the trip from Germany to share their knowledge on fungicide resistance at the Innovation Roadshow was Bayer Crop Science Senior Scientist Dr Andreas Mehl (Wagga Wagga, Moree and Adelaide) and Bayer Crop Science Head of Product and Project Support Dr Friedrich Kerz-Moehlendick (Perth and Bendigo).
Dr Mehl believes the Innovation Roadshow presented a valuable opportunity to address critical fungicide resistance questions from growers and advisers face-to-face.
“I have been really impressed with the feedback and culture of Australian growers and advisers,” he observed.
“They were really interested in the information we discussed and asked a lot of questions, which really ensures a good exchange of knowledge between all of us, resulting in a better understanding of resistance management and disease control in Australia.”
During the Innovation Roadshow, Dr Mehl emphasised that progress on resistance management is a key objective of both Bayer and the industry generally, to promote long-term sustainable use of all fungicide products.
“Over the last three decades, the industry has worked together through the global Fungicide Resistance Action Committee (FRAC) to align on use recommendations for individual fungicide groups, such as SDHI’s, and Bayer has led from the beginning in these discussions,” explains Dr Mehl, who represents Bayer on the FRAC.
“It is Bayer’s aim to communicate best resistance management strategies and use guidelines in all parts of the world, in particular in Australia, to ensure a long period of sustainable use of all fungicide products.”
At each Innovation Roadshow event, the international speakers were backed up by a range of local Bayer Crop Science technical staff, who drilled down into technical aspects, including local trial results and product information.
Bayer Crop Science Customer Advisory Manager, Rick Horbury, says the topics discussed at the Innovation Roadshow were selected based on feedback received from industry.
“We know there have been a lot of queries around fungicide resistance, and with two new products coming from Bayer Crop Science into the market in 2017 and 2018, being Aviator® Xpro® and EverGol® Energy, respectively, it was important to address those issues,” he says.
“We talked about Aviator Xpro a lot at the events, this product is a broad-spectrum fungicide with the active ingredients bixafen and prothioconazole
“With Leafshield™ technology, Aviator Xpro shows excellent rainfastness and a formulation delivering excellent spreading and penetrant abilities for control of a range of key diseases. We think this product is going to produce an excellent return on investment for Australian growers.”
Following the registration in 2017 of Aviator Xpro for canola and chickpeas, the product has also been registered for use in wheat, barley and a number of pulses in 2018, along with approval for aerial application.
“EverGol Energy, a new seed treatment product from Bayer Crop Science, was also discussed in depth. EverGol Energy is a combination of penflufen, metalaxyl and prothioconazole. It will supersede EverGol Prime, with a broader label to include diseases such as pythium and crown rot.
“It was really great to take the time to explain how these products will not only elevate on-farm disease control to a new level, but also how they fit into the broader concepts of effective resistance management strategies our global colleagues discussed at the “Let’s Talk Innovation Roadshow.”
It was this mix of local and global knowledge and expertise at each event which attendees found particularly valuable, as Mark Habner, an agronomist with Landmark Cummins (SA), found when he attended the Innovation Roadshow in Adelaide.
“I came along to hear a quality international speaker, as well as hear about new products that we could be using in our paddocks, because there’s always quality data and information that Bayer provides, and being able to get that quality information at a time that suits is really good,” Mr Habner says.
“I attended the GRDC Updates while in Adelaide too, and being able to come the day before to the Innovation Roadshow, so that it fits in with a busy time of year, is really important.
Mr Horbury agrees the response from industry was good, with all events well attended by agronomists, advisors and consultants right across Australia.
“The attendees were really happy to have our international speakers sharing their knowledge on fungicide resistance, but also getting that local knowledge on Bayer’s products, so they can make recommendations to their growers,” he says.
“It is very important for Bayer to not only be bringing innovative chemistry to the market, but to also share both global and local knowledge with industry, and that’s why we hold the Innovation Roadshow.”