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Stewardship program sets banana disease chemistry apart

About

  • Category

    • Grower Stories
    • News
  • Product

  • Date

    06 Juni, 2018

  • Location

    Innisfail, QLD

About

Category

  • Grower Stories
  • News

Date

06 June, 2018

Product

Location

Innisfail, QLD

When Bayer Crop Science introduced new Group 7 fungicide chemistry to the banana industry in 2015, the move was welcomed by many as the next evolution in disease control.
Duncan Sutherland
The principle reason for the excitement was that Luna® Privilege has a unique mode of action, making it highly effectively in combating key leaf diseases such as yellow Sigatoka, leaf speckle and cordana leaf spot.

However, with the powerful new chemistry came a strong desire to ensure it was used appropriately so it would remain an effective tool for many seasons to come.

To reinforce a sustainable use pattern for Luna Privilege, a stewardship program was put in place, which encourages no more than four sprays in a 12-month period, a single 150 mL/ha use rate, application with oil and application only by air. This means industry figures such as Duncan Sutherland from Heliservices Queensland play a key role in ensuring the sustainable use of Luna Privilege in bananas.

“The stewardship program has been an excellent initiative and definitely set at the right level - reliance is on the aerial operators to follow it correctly, and farmers accept that's the way it's got to be applied,” he says.

As chief pilot of Heliservices Queensland, Mr Sutherland was directly involved in trial work using Luna Privilege in 2015.

“There was a reasonable amount of excitement about Luna Privilege, because at the time there were no new chemicals coming into the industry for use in bananas, so Luna was the one that was going to stand out and it still does,” he explains.

“It was an important development, because it was new chemistry and a new mode of action group – prior to Luna Privilege we were really limited to protectants and limited systemics for use on leaf diseases like yellow Sigatoka.”

Two seasons down the track from the launch of Luna Privilege in 2015, Mr Sutherland says it has been a tough run for the industry.

“Unfortunately, we're price takers in the banana industry, and so when farmers have to watch their dollars carefully, sometimes that means they avoid the higher priced chemistry – although that’s not necessarily the right approach,” he says. “Those farmers who have used Luna Privilege are way in front.”

“While we were hoping that Luna Privilege might have been used a little bit more, it has been used over most farms that have been on an oil program, and the feedback from those who have used it has been good.”

While the chemistry has proven to be effective on key banana diseases, it has also proven to be easy to apply, which is an important element for Heliservices Queensland staff.

“I think Luna Privilege will maintain a good position in the marketplace and it may get a little bit more use this year, Luna Privilege is going to be sitting in there nicely.”

About

Category

  • Grower Stories
  • News

Date

06 June, 2018

Product

Location

Innisfail, QLD