Sphaerex will be available for Prairie farmers in time for the 2022 growing season
By Diego Flammini
Cereals producers in Western Canada will have a new crop protection product available to them for the next growing season.
Sphaerex, a new fungicide from BASF Canada, received registration from Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) the company announced on Oct. 19.
The product combines two Group 3 active ingredients, Prothioconazole and Metconazole, to help wheat, barley, oat, rye and triticale producers manage Fusarium head blight (FHB) and reduce deoxynivalenol (DON) levels.
The fungicide is meant to be applied at head timing, said Sylvain Mialon, brand manager of fungicides – cereals and pulses, with BASF.
“FHB is the main disease on the head and we also want to protect the flag leaf,” he told Farms.com.
FHB can cause significant challenges for producers.
Losses in Canada because of FHB have ranged from $50 million to $300 million per year since the 1990s, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry says.
A profitable cereal can come down to two criteria.
One of them is yield.
In 2020 research trials, BASF tested Sphaerex in fields of Brandon spring wheat and found the applications helped increase yields.
“We found a 6.5 bushel per acre average compared to untreated checks,” Mialon said. “We were also on par with our main competition on the market.”
Another factor of a successful crop is quality.
Sphaerex helped maintain quality in the crop trials as well.
The trials used FHB index calculations to identify the level of FHB in particular sections of the field.
“Sphaerex outperformed everything that’s in the market by about 10 per cent,” Mialon said.
BASF is focusing Sphaerex in Western Canada in 2022 and continues to look at providing innovations in additional locations.