Monday, December 12, 2016

Ethaboxam added to Current Corn PowerShield® seed treatment

When I starting working at Burrus, just about three years ago, one agronomic concern to corn that had just began to surface was pythium root rot, but only in specific areas of southeast Iowa and northeast Missouri if environmental conditions were conducive. To learn more about pythium, you can visit Smells like Pythium root rot.  

Patches of stunted corn with rotted roots had to be replanted in 2015.
Dark root rot on the root mesocotyl was diagnosed as pythium.
Pythium is an oomycete or fungal-like organism. All oomycetes need water for infection to occur.  Previously, it was thought that pythium infections only occurred in cool conditions, but now we know that pythium can favor both cool and warm conditions, depending on the species.  Pythium is also more often found in soils with compaction, poor drainage, heavy soil types, or fields without tile.

Since the 1970's, the seed industry has relied upon the fungicide metalaxyl within their seed treatment mixtures to combat oomycetes such as pythium.  In 1996, Mefenoxam, another form of metalaxyl, was used. The problem was that since the 1970's the same chemistry was being used year after year within corn, soybean, wheat, and other seed treatments. Thanks to the latest in ag technology, new pythium species are being discovered at a rapid pace.  

Unfortunately, some of these new species appear to be "insensitive" or tolerant to metalaxyl or mefenoxam.

Burrus is excited to announce that we will be one of the first seed companies to add ethaboxam to our current PowerShield® corn seed treatment at no extra cost. Ethaboxam has the active ingredient, Thiazole carboximide, and was approved in the US and Canada in 2015.  It is a unique mode of action that is active only against oomycetes.  

By adding ethaboxam, in combination with metalaxyl or mefenoxam, we not only are adding a new active ingredient with a different mode of action, but we are providing a more consistent protection of corn seedling against a broad spectrum of pythium species. Ethaboxam stays in the seed zone; whereas metalaxyl/mefenoxam moves to the upper part of the plant.

In the past three years, when 49 replicated research locations were analyzed, it was found that on average, by adding ethaboxam, plant stands were increased by 174 plants per acre as well as an additional 2.9 bu/a. (65% wins) over the current PowerShield.  That additional 2.9 bu/a. equates to a 5:1 return on a $5 investment, at no additional cost to our customer.  This is why the Burrus standard is another’s extra mile!

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