Publication •  12/3/2018

How to Keep Downy Mildew in Sunflower Under Control?

Written By Oleg Shevchuk
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INSIDERS    |   Seed Applied Technologies   

Sunflower is one of the most valuable crops that help growers to sustain their profitability over the crop rotations. To increase profitability, growers are often shortening the intervals between the two sunflower crops in their rotations and this has some negative consequences, such as an increased pest and disease pressure, quicker evolution of the resistance and a reduced life cycle of hybrids with proven yield potential.

Downy mildew (Plasmopara halstedii)is considered a major disease in all sunflower producing countries in Europe. Downy mildew can cause significant crop damage by killing or stunting of infected plants, reducing crop stands and causing yield loss. Despite the widespread distribution, downy mildew is listed as a quarantine organism in Europe. Even low disease levels can have severe implications for sunflower production and export of seeds.

Lumisena™ is designed to help growers to maximize the full potential of their sunflower crop. It controls all races of downy mildew, including those that are resistant to current fungicide treatments. At the same time, it helps to extend the life cycle of the downy mildew tolerant hybrids that otherwise would be susceptible to the new races of this devastating disease, thanks to its new mode of action brought by latest chemistry.

Oxathiapiprolin, the active ingredient in Lumisena™, is a brand new CORTEVA Agriscience product with protection at every stage of the fungal life cycle, resulting in healthier plants. It has preventative activity that inhibits zoospore release and prevents zoospore germination at very low concentrations. This protects from infection via the roots, enabling a healthy emergence. Oxathiapiprolin is not cross-resistant with other classes of fungicides used against oomycete pathogens. To reduce the risk of resistance development, Lumisena™ should be used in mixture with a different mode of action fungicide active on the target oomycete disease.

In external research trials with leading university experts, sunflower seed treated with Lumisena™ showed a significantly lower incidence of downy mildew in comparison to existing fungicide seed treatments. In 29 research trials in fields across Europe, Lumisena™ showed 84% fewer downy mildew infected plants compared to untreated plots – with no cross resistance to existing fungicides. Compared to the current reference in the market, Lumisena™ provides a stronger and more consistent protection against downy mildew. At the same time the product is safe to the crop and does not reduce the germination power of the treated seed, thus helps to obtain an even and strong plant emergence.