Article •  1/7/2024

Strong start from new fungicide in strawberries

Something went wrong. Please try again later...

The introduction of Verpixo Adavelt active fungicide for strawberries has demonstrated excellent results under challenging conditions in the Yarra Valley of Victoria.

Nutrien Wandin agronomist, John Frisina said Verpixo fungicide, from Corteva Agriscience, had features that appealed to his growers.

John Frisina, of Nutrien, Wandin, VIC, used Verpixo fungicide to keep strawberries disease-free under challenging conditions.
John Frisina, of Nutrien, Wandin, VIC, used Verpixo fungicide to keep strawberries disease-free under challenging conditions.

“It was IPM friendly, in Group 21, which we hadn't had access to before, was compatible with a lot of other chemistry that we use already and there was very little risk of phytotoxicity.”

“Those four things stacked up well in a fungicide that was going to be effective in high-pressure situations,” Mr Frisina said.

“It was released in mid-January, and we had a period of wet weather coming up, so the timing was perfect. We didn't have an outbreak of Botrytis that we might have expected under those circumstances."

“The growers used it, they were happy with it, it didn't cause any problems and it's now part of our program.”

Nutrien Wandin agronomist John Frisina inspecting the excellent results from Verpixo fungicide with Corteva Agriscience Territory Account Manager, Gregg Baynon.
Nutrien Wandin agronomist John Frisina inspecting the excellent results from Verpixo fungicide with Corteva Agriscience Territory Account Manager, Gregg Baynon.

“The track record of Corteva and the products we've used in this industry are very good. The relationship is very important to give confidence in the product.  It sets Corteva apart from other suppliers."

“When we became aware of Verpixo and its abilities, and its usefulness in the crop, I had every confidence that it would perform as it was intended.”

Strawberries in the Yarra Valley are planted from May to July and also in the summer months and are a long-season crop.

“Management of pests and disease starts very early in the piece,” Mr Frisina said.  “These guys are harvesting this crop for about eight months, and, on average, two to three times a week.”

“When we start our crop management program, it is a regular spray and we're looking for control of Botrytis in the first instance and also Powdery mildew.

“It really starts with a sequence of sprays at regular intervals, a seven to ten-day program from early in the season, is really what's required."

He said the length of the season meant it was critical to have different chemistries that could be rotated.

“With an eight-month picking season and a spray every seven to ten days we really do have an ability to exhaust those options and we certainly welcome new options when they come through.”

“Up until about three or four years ago, we were struggling for options. But in recent times we've had some new chemistry released and available for the industry to use against Botrytis and Powdery mildew, which has really, proven useful. We have been able to manage the disease issues well – particularly with the wet springs.”

“When I spoke to growers, we talked about the Holden Commodore and then your Ferrari,” he said.  “There is chemistry that we use, that we class as the Ferraris, that are high-grade products with very, very good efficacy.”

“Verpixo is a Testarossa in my book. It really is good. When we know the high-pressure period is coming, that's what we go to.  When the conditions are favorable, (dry and mild) we will use the older, less effective chemistry.”

“We've had some very good feedback from growers. It seems to be managing Powdery mildew and Botrytis and they've mixed it with quite a range of products that they're already using so the compatibility has been great.”

“It dries very clean - it doesn't seem to have any residue showing up.”

“The withholding period (one day) is also important for it because the fruit is perishable. It needs to be picked, packed, and off to market the same day. So that one day withholding period gives us flexibility. The second thing is the re-entry period. Being able to enter the crop and harvest the crop once the chemicals dry is really important.”

A need to produce strawberries of the highest quality underlies product decisions for producers in the Yarra Valley.

Mr Frisina said the region had good soils, reliable rainfall, and a temperate cool climate in the spring.

“That's conducive to producing good tasting berries, of good size and quality.  The main thing is proximity to the markets in Melbourne.  Strawberries are highly perishable and being close to the market traditionally gave the growers a good opportunity to get it as fresh as possible to the consumer.”

He said the challenge with strawberries is that only premium quality fruit will make it into the marketplace.

“There is very little demand for second-grade fruit and even less demand for reject fruit.  Strawberries are difficult to produce.”

Pest and diseases are the major challenges for strawberries with aphids, thrips, mites, and mildews the main issues each season.

“We're fortunate that we have got a fairly good integrated pest management system so we are able to manage pests using predatory species that control two-spotted mite and western flower thrips,” Mr Frisina said. “ Once those two pests are managed and the rest of the pests and disease control falls into place.”

“The main criterion when we introduce a product into the industry is that it is compatible with the IPM system that's in place - that's highly important.”

Further information on Verpixo

Verpixo Tech Manual

Verpixo Tech Manual

Find freedom to grow through innovation

View now
Verpixo Adavelt active

Verpixo Adavelt active

Verpixo® Adavelt® active is a naturally inspired fungicide for the effective control of damaging ascomycete diseases such as botrytis, powdery mildew, sclerotinia, alternaria, septoria and many others. Verpixo Adavelt active is registered in curcurbits, fruiting vegetables, leafy vegetables and strawberries.

Product details
Verpixo Gatton Field Day

Verpixo® Adavelt® active Gatton Field Day

GROWERS in the Lockyer Valley have joined agronomists from across Queensland and New South Wales at Elders Gatton Field Day for a powerful demonstration of Verpixo® Adavelt® active in the control of challenging ascomycete pathogens.

View now