Fungicide Options to Protect Crops From Oomycete Diseases

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Raising fruits and vegetables is a special kind of farming. Every plant presents an opportunity to bring color, flavor and nutrients to someone’s plate. Farmers take pride in this work and make a major investment in every season, counting on delivering high-quality, beautiful produce to the marketplace. It’s a commitment worthy of optimal protection.

Mold diseases caused by oomycetes threaten produce crops all season long. They’re quick-spreading and potentially devastating. So, when a fungicide comes along that’s effective and helps protect crops for longer, it’s tempting to use it frequently. But experience shows that this would be short-sighted—perhaps great for protecting fields today but creating fungicide resistance down the line. Already, the efficacy of too many once-useful fungicides is starting to wane. Just as the diseases farmers battle in the field are constantly evolving, the techniques for dealing with them—and protecting fungicide efficacy—have to adapt, too.

Preventing resistance, protecting produce

A program approach to disease control in fruit and vegetable crops is especially important because of how frequently fungicides have to be applied throughout the season. Depending on the crop, multiple treatments may be necessary over a short time. Each subsequent application of the same chemical group presents an opportunity for diseases to adapt and develop resistance.

Protecting the efficacy of existing fungicide active ingredients is becoming ever more important because bringing new products to market takes years, sometimes decades. Developing new active ingredients is an increasingly complex process, as scientists work to not only discover new modes of action, but to look for solutions that reduce environmental impact, meet marketplace needs and advance disease control. Regulatory review processes have become more rigorous, too, extending the time to gain approval. At the same time it’s taking longer to bring new fungicides to the farm, more products are also being taken off the market due to regulatory changes or consumer preferences, among other reasons, limiting available options.

Oomycete diseases, such as downy mildew, can adapt quickly to fungicides. Good stewardship of new active ingredients can help keep fungicides more effective for the long term.

For these reasons, many farmers have found Zorvec™ active a welcome addition to their portfolio of fungicide solutions. Zorvec is the only active ingredient of its type, with a novel mode of action that affects a novel target site and it’s highly effective against Phytophthora and downy mildew diseases.

Steps for strong stewardship

The use recommendations for products containing Zorvec have been carefully designed to protect its durability in crop production. By following these recommendations, farmers can help ensure Zorvec, as well as other fungicides used in a program approach with it, continue to help manage oomycete diseases for the long term. Use recommendations vary by product and crop,* but here are some of the general stewardship principles for products containing Zorvec:

  1. Zorvec is only used in combination with other fungicide modes of action. 
    Zorvec is never used on its own. Depending upon the crop and region, Zorvec may be available in a pre-mixed product, combined with a fungicide with a different mode of action, or it may come co-packaged with another product containing a different active ingredient.
  2. Zorvec is labeled for limited uses per crop, per season.
    The number of applications of Zorvec will vary based on the crop. For example, this active ingredient can only be used up to two times a season in grapes and may be applied up to four times a year on potatoes.* These guidelines have also been established with careful consideration of resistance management.
  3. Following recommended application timing optimizes performance and reduces resistance risk.
    Although application timing varies by crop, Zorvec is recommended for use early in the labeled application window. This is based on thorough research to establish when plant protection can be optimized. Since Zorvec protects new growth, application is timed with key stages of vegetative development. While this active ingredient does have some curative effects on fungal diseases, delaying its use can make it more difficult to manage diseases and increase risks of developing resistance.

When plants are protected from oomycete diseases, they can put more of their energy into producing beautiful, abundant fruit. By using Zorvec in a responsible program approach, farmers can feel proud not only of the fields they harvest, but of playing an important role in stewarding technologies that help continue to make it possible.

Learn more about Zorvec active

*Always read and follow label and use directions for products containing Zorvec™ active.