By Nick Vandervort, Midwestern Field Development Manager
Protecting crops isn’t easy, especially when pests can develop resistance to a grower’s go-to crop protection tool. Many synthetic chemistries that have protected plants and yields for decades have lost their effectiveness for this reason and can no longer handle the job on their own. To protect their plants effectively, growers must adapt and evolve, implementing new IPM strategies and alternative products into their protection plans.
Facing the Challenges of Fungicide Failure
Weeds, insects and plant diseases that have built up a tolerance to several crop protection chemistries through repeated use and over-reliance can no longer be effectively controlled by specific products or modes of action. One case study in particular offers an example of how this can occur.
Nearly two decades ago, strobilurin QoI fungicides (FRAC Group 11) were among the first chemistries introduced into the row crop market to treat many crop-specific diseases. With its strong initial efficacy, the use of the technology grew quickly as a go-to tool for disease control. However, over-reliance on the strobilurins and repeated treatments year after year led to resistance to members of this class of chemistries in certain fungal populations.
However, row crop growers did have other fungicide options to choose from outside of the strobilurins: triazoles (FRAC Group 3) and SDHIs (FRAC Group 7). Like strobilurins, both classes of fungicides have a single site of action within the target fungus. The result was that resistance developed independently and quickly to the different modes of action having single target sites. This meant even tank mixes of the different modes of action could no longer be relied on for control or as an effective resistance management tool for specific resistant fungi.
Naturally Derived Biological Solutions
Many growers are turning to biologicals to expand their crop protection toolkits and break the cycle of fungicide failure.
Just as growers rely on numerous mechanical tools to accomplish tasks on the farm, the addition of new or alternative products, like biologicals, into their crop protection toolkit can be the key to success. In the case of disease control, this may include use of products with completely different modes of action, like Double Nickel® biofungicide.
Doubling Disease-Fighting Power
Double Nickel is from FRAC Group BM02, meaning it has multiple modes of action to help combat tough disease pests. Because of its multiple modes of action, it is far more difficult for the disease organism to develop resistance.
Double Nickel features the active ingredient Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain D747. Using an effective biofungicide like this creates a robust defense against pests using broad-spectrum control. And luckily, products like Double Nickel present no risk to the environment or beneficial species, enabling growth through improved nutrient uptake and providing reliable tank-mix compatibility with a variety of other products. This makes the biofungicide a versatile tool for growers, especially when employed as part of an integrated approach to enhance overall soil health and plant productivity.
Biological products like Double Nickel offer a myriad of advantages to growers. Those who evolve and adopt them reap the benefits in their IPM programs and overall production with a more effective tool in that toolbox to help combat tough pests. Learn more about the trusted pioneer of biofungicides at certisbio.com/products/biofungicides/double-nickel-lc.