New Proline molecule pumps gold

Severe sclerotinia infections in canola can result in significant yield loss and set up the field for future problems.  |  File photo

Bayer Crop Science has launched an enhanced version of the popular canola fungicide Proline. The double action fungicide named Proline Gold, is intended for fields with exceptionally high sclerotinia pressure.

The original Proline has been pumped up by the addition of fluopyram, a fungicide already approved by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency for other pulse and oilseed crops, according to Jamie Mills, grower marketing manager for canola at Bayer.

In a phone interview, Mills said fluopyram is a new active ingredient for canola.

“We call this a premium product because we are combining two molecules, or active ingredients, each of which is very effective on sclerotinia on their own. In combination with each other, the blend is incredibly effective, especially in fields with high disease pressures,” says Mills, adding that this kind of efficacy has not been seen before.

“The new active, called fluopyram, has typically been used in crops like dry beans and in horticulture. We’ve combined that with the tested and true active called prothioconazole, which is better known as Proline. Proline is the Number 1 fungicide used against sclerotinia in Western Canada.

“Proline Gold is not intended for moderate sclerotinia problems. It’s intended for severe outbreaks. That’s where it excels.”

Mills says conditions in Western Canada have not been conducive to sclerotinia research lately, so he has been studying Bayer data from Europe. There, results show Proline Gold has improved efficacy and a reduction in sclerotinia incidence. Proline Gold had a three percent benefit over straight Proline in fields with high disease pressure. The other factor was a general reduction in overall disease pressure on the crop.

The label does not prevent a grower from using Gold as a preventive measure, even in moderate infestations. Given our experience with herbicide-resistant weeds, Mills emphasizes that Bayer studied that possibility closely.

“We looked at that quite a bit. Sclerotinia is a relatively low risk disease. It has to do with how the disease is manifested and how frequently it occurs. The way sclerotinia works is the spore bodies germinate the following season. They’re not long-lived in our prairie environment. They don’t perpetuate for a long time, but they are present for the next year.

“Because of the environmental conditions required for them to develop and the amount of infection rate we actually see across Western Canada, the risk of sclerotinia developing resistance to a fungicide is very, very low.”

Mills says a couple of consecutive dry years can lower the number of spores in the spore bank, opening the door to the possibility of a couple of consecutive sclerotinia-free years. Mills says we seldom see consecutive years with conditions that perpetuate the disease at high levels.

The label has been submitted for canola and it’s been approved by PMRA so it’s fully registered in Canada.

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