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Let’s declare our freedom!

July 2, 2019

By John Wood, Certis Biologicals Regional Manager

A little like our Founding Fathers, who faced their own “taxing” issues back in 1776, tree nut growers in our region are battling a problem that, quite frankly, I’d like to be able to declare our freedom from.

The “R” word! 

The word we collectively despise so much it makes us want to dump our tea into the Boston Harbor.

On this Fourth of July 2019, I’d like us all to be able to declare ourselves independent from RESISTANCE!  

Patriotic puns aside, this is a serious issue and we are seeing it rear its ugly head in a big way this growing season. With the wet conditions we’ve experienced this season, a variety of diseases have been able to attack our crops and impact tree growth and yields. We are seeing rusts take over and mildews and blights putting intense pressure on our crops.

It’s not as easy as it sounds, but the key to managing resistance is to take a tactical approach to your IPM program. Working with a PCA, always ensure that you are rotating crop inputs combined with cultural practices in your orchards. Never apply the same active ingredient or class of chemistry back-to-back in a season; and, if you suspect that resistance is developing, incorporate products such as Double Nickel® and Trilogy® that have different and multiple modes of action necessary to break the resistance cycle and deliver efficacy control. 

Alternaria resistance is one that is taking a major toll in our region this year. For several years, strobilurin fungicides were the go-to products for disease control. Growers came to rely upon their efficacy in controlling Alternaria and now are experiencing resistance to those chemistries beginning to lose their effectiveness. When that happens, unfortunately, you’re left with few options to protect your crops. You can either tank-mix a strobilurin product at a higher rate or switch to other chemistries that aren’t as effective. 

Certis Biologicals offers a portfolio of products that provides multiple options and are one of the strongest set of tools you can have to effectively fight resistance issues. Many of our products are designed to either tank-mix or rotate with conventional chemistries to maximize efficacy.

Partner Double Nickel®, a contact product, with a conventional residual chemistry and you have the one-two punch needed to kick an outbreak of Alternaria. Our neem oil product, Trilogy®, works great when mixed with a conventional fungicide chemistry, even going beyond controlling the pathogen and, as an added benefit, supporting enhanced  mite and insect management as well.

Perhaps our most powerful soldier in the war of resistance independence  is LifeGard® WG, the first foliar-applied biological plant activator product on the market. It unlocks your plants’ own ability to fight off diseases like blights and mildews using a naturally occurring bacterium that triggers an induced resistance response. Even more powerful is its ability to be tank-mixed and rotated with conventional chemistries to further ward off resistance.

I think our time has come!

2019 may not have the same ring as 1776, but I still think it has the potential to go down in history as the year we declare ourselves rid of the tyranny of resistance.

Happy Independence Day, everyone!

This series is part of a partnership with Tree Nut Farm Press. You can read the original here.

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