1. Please can you tell us how the Research & Development (R&D) process works at Dow AgroSciences (DAS)?
Our research and development work is driven by a global process called CPS (Create Product Success). This process embraces all aspects of R&D including the organization, functions, roles, responsibilities, interactions and teamwork. It was introduced around 20 years ago in Europe and is so efficient and productive that CPS was adopted globally as the AgroSciences product development process and is still used today.
In fact, I believe that the growth of DAS during the last two decades is due in no small way to the design and diligent application of the CPS process.
2. What have been the major breakthroughs for cereal herbicide products at DAS in recent years?
Across the EU region we’ve developed several new active substances for controlling major weeds in winter and spring cereals. For example, between 2009 and 2011 we launched several pyroxsulam and aminopyralid based products.
Pyroxsulam is a high performing grass weed killer used in wheat, rye and triticale with excellent control of grasses such as APESV (Apera spica-venti), ALOMY (Alopecurus myosuroïdes), LOLSS (Lolium spp), AVESS (Avena spp) and BROST (Bromus sterilis). It also controls many broad-leaved weeds such as VIOAR (Viola arvensis) and VERSS (Veronica spp).
Aminopyralid is a broad-leaved weed herbicide with a synthetic auxin mode of action (HRAC group O). It works really well in controlling species such as MATSS (Matricaria spp), CENCY (Centaurea cyanus), PAPRH (Papaver rhoeas) as well as ALS-resistant weed biotypes.
And the most recent breakthrough is the development of Arylex™ active, an innovative broad-leaf weed herbicide with a synthetic auxin mode of action for controlling key species such as GALAP (Galium aparine), PAPRH, FUMOF (Fumaria officinalis), GERSS (Geranium spp), LAMPU (Lamium purpureum) and CHEAL (Chenopodium album) in winter and spring cereals.
The first products including Arylex were approved in Denmark earlier this year and most recently in the UK.
3. Can you tell us about the history of Arylex?
The first Arylex field trials were set up across the EU in 2006. It’s taken 10 years of research and development to get us to this stage of launching new products. The R&D process has involved the characterization of the new active substance and the development and registration of various formulations and products optimized for various market segments.
We have developed mixtures with either florasulam or fluroxypyr for launches from 2016 to 2018. Additional products with other active substances are under development and should be launched between 2019 and 2021 across the EU region.
4. What do you see as the key benefits of Arylex?
Arylex is the first member of the Arylpicolinates, a completely new class of synthetic herbicides within HRAC’s Group O. As such it offers superior control at low use rates (5 to 6 g ae/ha), even on difficult to control weeds such as PAPRH, GALAP, GAETE (Galeopsis tetrahit), FUMOF, GERSS, CHEAL, AMBEL (Ambrosia artemisiifolia), LAMAM (Lamium amplexicaule), LAMPU. Additionally it also controls ALS-resistant biotypes.
Arylex can safely be applied to a variety of winter and spring cereals across a wide spray application window (from BBCH 11 [1 leaf stage] to BBCH 45 [late boot stage] depending on product) even in tough conditions such as cold temperatures and dry weather.
Arylex rapidly degrades in soil and plant residues making it safe to sow all rotational and catch crops.
5. Thinking about herbicide resistant weeds across Europe, what are the differences from region to region or country to country?
Around Europe we are seeing an increase in ALS herbicide resistant broad-leaved weed species. For example, there are some species such as PAPRH, MATSS, STEME (Stellaria media), CENCY and SINAR (Sinapis arvensis) that have developed resistance to herbicides in several EU countries. Additionally some other species like AMBEL, CAPBP (Capsella bursa-pastoris), CHYSE (Chrysanthemum segetum), GAETE, SINAL (Sinapis alba) and SENVU (Senecio vulgaris) have developed resistance in just 1 or 2 countries. It is staggering to see that almost every year we’re finding a new broad-leaf weed species that is ALS-resistant.
6. For which particular resistant weeds is Arylex effective?
The two most widespread and frequently occurring ALS-resistant species are PAPRH and STEME. In fact we’ve seen ALS-resistant biotypes of these species in around 10 EU countries.
The really positive news is that Arylex is a new tool to help control such weeds. Arylex is very efficient on STEME when applied in Autumn and on PAPRH when applied in Autumn, Winter and Spring.
7. What are the key crops that Arylex should be used on and how does this differ from country to country?
Arylex is safe for both winter and spring cereals such as soft wheat, durum wheat, spelt, barley, rye, and triticale. It’s also safe on winter oats when used at half rate for controlling the most susceptible species like GALAP, FUMOF, AMBEL, CHEAL, LAMPU.
8. When is the best time to use Arylex?
The best time to use Arylex is from BBCH 11 in September to BBCH 45 in June – such flexibility in cereal herbicides is extremely rare. The best efficacy levels are achieved when Arylex is applied to young weeds at BBCH 12 to 16. But some species (e.g. GALAP, FUMOF, LAMPU) are so susceptible that Arylex efficacy can be effective even at flowering stage.
From a practical perspective, the best timings depend on the mixtures of Arylex with other herbicides as we also have to consider the properties of the mix partners. And of course it also depends on the targeted weeds.
Zypar™ (Arylex and florasulam) can be used from September to June and Pixxaro™ EC (Arylex + fluroxypyr) can be used from February to June.
9. What ‘Arylex’ products do you hope to see registered in Europe over the next 6 months?
Arylex was Annex 1 listed in May 2015 whilst Zypar and Pixxaro were registered in Denmark in February of this year. Pixxaro has also now been registered in the UK and we expect Zypar to also be approved in the UK this Summer and in France in the Autumn of this year.
Throughout the rest of 2016 and 2017 we expect that many country approvals will come through the mutual recognition process at the zonal levels whilst additional EU approvals of other Arylex based mixtures are expected as of 2018.
Finally, we expect to register and launch at least 10 Arylex-based formulations during the next 5 years across the EU region. We’re very proud of Arylex as we believe that it really does represent the next generation of weed control.