It was awarded the Green Chemistry Challenge Award in 2018 with its highly favourable toxicological profile and extremely low environmental loading.
The US EPA designated it as a Reduced Risk Pesticide for uses in rice and aquatics.
Ubeniq’s excellent environmental and sustainability credentials are backed up by its activity on a range of key weed species in the Australian rice industry.
“Ubeniq gives strong suppression of Dirty Dora and really strong control on broadleaf, aquatic weeds (Arrowhead, Jerry Jerry, Starfruit and Water plantain),” Mr Wells said. “The suppression of Dirty Dora gap is one that we've worked on for the last two or three years and we now believe we've got sequences that we will recommend to the rice industry in the coming season.”
Part of the work conducted with the new herbicide was to determine how it sequenced with other herbicides in the rice industry.
Last season, trials were conducted on Agropraisals rice research farm at Cobram, in northern Victoria.
“We've been involved with Agropraisals for decades when there have been new treatments to commercialise for rice in Australia,” Mr Wells said. “The preceding work was with cyhalofop, which became Barnstorm and more recently, with Rinskor Active, which is now Ubeniq and Agixa Rinskor active herbicides.
A key part of the trials last year was to look at how Ubeniq performed in sequence with other commonly used herbicides.
“There's been some really nice results for Ubeniq, where we've shown that sequences following applications of either Molinate or Saturn have given excellent weed control and acceptable rice safety,” Mr Wells said.
Malcolm Taylor, of Agropraisals, said the release of Ubeniq offered growers an alternative mode of action to benzofenap, (e.g. Taipan*) that had been widely used for the past twenty years.
“Ubeniq gives us early weed control of broadleaf aquatics and the sedges,” he said. “It is a useful tool to growers because they can overlay alternate modes of action on that same cohort of weeds.”
In water seeded culture, we are finding that combinations, either in sequence or tank mix with Saturn, are providing grass control and sedge control. They combine very well to give you an effective treatment."
Corteva Area Sales Leader for Southern Australia, Andrew Cossar, said the company was a global business heavily investing in research and development.
He said it was exciting that Corteva was able to work with the Australian rice industry and bring new products to assist with weed control.
“It’s great that we can work our way through the field R&D to approval phase, to enable us to bring new treatments to the market."
He said one challenge with the rice industry and any new products coming through is how quickly the products can develop resistance.
“We’ve always seen the need to evolve with new programs, more modes of actions and to bring on new products to assist in managing our weed control programs.
“Researchers and advisers in the industry are very mindful of resistance management and are developing programs for growers that are going to minimise the onset of resistance."