A liquid nematicide said to offer a much lower application rate than existing nematicide products, no harvest interval restriction and cost-saving opportunities for potato cyst nematode (PCN) control has been launched by Bayer CropScience.
Velum Prime (fluopyram) has been approved for use in potatoes for in-furrow application at planting at a rate of 0.625l/ha.
Bayer is also trying to get the product approved for application as an overall spray, using a conventional boom sprayer and incorporated before planting, although it is currently unclear whether this will happen in time for the 2019 planting season.
A large number of trials of the product in the UK have been carried out on potatoes over the last seven seasons, says Bayer root crops campaign manager Ed Hagues. “Across 26 UK trials between 2012 and 2018 untreated yields were 34.8t/ha. Velum Prime at 0.625l/ha yielded an average of 38.1t/ha, an average yield increase over untreated of 3.3t/ha. Vydate at 55kg/ha yielded 41.3t/ha, an increase over untreated of 6.5t/ha.”
Sequential use benefits
While there are many opportunities to use Velum solo in low/moderate PCN pressure situations, under higher PCN pressure, it shows positive yield benefits when used in sequence with half rates of granular nematicides compared with using the latter alone at full rate, explains Bayer marketing manager, root crops and horticulture Neil Thompson.
Mr Thompson says: “The use of Velum + half-rate Vydate gave an increase of 2.6t/ha over the full rate (55kg/ha) Vydate-only treatment, while a similar treatment of Velum with half-rate Nemathorin gave an average yield increase of 0.3t/ha over the full rate (30kg/ha) Nemathorin-only treatment.”
“The price is likely to be around half that of a granular nematicide which makes Velum with a half rate granular treatment competitive with a full rate granular treatment,” adds Mr Hagues.
Bayer is providing support to growers using Velum in the first year where it is being used alone and with half rate Vydate (oxamyl) or Nemathorin (fosthiazate), he adds.
No harvest interval
James Lee, business unit manager at Produce Solutions, which provides technical advice for potato and fresh produce growers says there were concerns over MRL exceedences with granular nematicides and that the absence of a harvest interval restriction for Velum was ‘a massive big tick’ adding a note of caution that ‘we did not know there were issues with the others until we had one’.
The lack of a harvest interval restriction will extend the possibility of PCN control to growers with short-season salad crop potatoes, says Mr Hagues. “It takes the headache out for salad crops.”
As well as offering yield advantages, Velum also has a role in PCN population control, alongside using longer rotations and resistant varieties, says Mr Hagues. “Pf/Pi for the untreated was 5, for Velum is was 3.7 and for Vydate, 3.9. It is similar for Velum and Vydate - both are doing a good job of population management.”
At low PCN population densities where there is a question mark over whether to treat, Velum offers a lower cost option, giving economic returns and contributing to PCN management, says Mr Thompson.
Looking ahead, there are possibilities for use of Velum in other situations, says Miles Taylor, Bayer field marketing manager, roots. “For free living nematodes and spraing we hope to have it on the label in 2019.”
Results from four trials show 17.45% of untreated tubers infected with spraing compared with 7.65% for Velum and 9% with the standard Vydate at 210g/100 metre-row.
Bayer campaign manager, vegetables, Tim Lacey presented trial results for carrots showing percentage damage with free living nematodes. This was 21.6% for the untreated control, 16.5% for Velum and 16.5% for Vydate.
“It can also make a contribution to sclerotinia control in carrots with trials showing a 32% reduction with Velum. We would expect the same for potatoes but it is difficult to get trials,” says Mr Lacey.