Thursday, July 11, 2019

5 Biofungicides to Look Out For

Summer can be a hectic time for gardeners and farmers alike. The hottest months of the year bring about unique challenges and hurdles that can significantly influence the trajectory of a grow. Among these are seasonal pest problems, disease issues and of course – heat stress. In fact, the heat will be the catalyst for many pest and disease problems in these months. While there is little that can be done about the heat, knowing your garden and some steps you can take to reduce plant stress from the other two factors can be the difference between a successful or unsuccessful crop.

Today we’ll cover a few broad-spectrum, OMRI listed fungicides from the next generation of disease control that provide added benefits to the plants during these tough few months.

Cease Biological Fungicide

Cease uses a bacteria called Bacillus subtilis (also called Hay Bacillus) to combat disease and stimulate plant immune responses, which furthers a plant’s ability to maintain growth and health while fighting disease. Like most organic fungicides, Cease is best used early in the growing season as a preventive treatment. It will remain effective once disease symptoms have set in; however, it may only suppress certain diseases at that point. 

Bacillus subtilis stimulates induced systemic resistance (ISR) within plants. In short, this process allows the plant to respond to and resist pathogens more readily and successfully. 

Controls/Suppresses: Anthracnose, Black Spot of Roses, Botrytis, Downy Mildew, Fusarium, Leaf Spot (several species), Powdery Mildew, Phytophthora, Pythium, Rhizoctonia, Rust and Scab

Companion Biological Fungicide

Companion is proven effective for prevention, control and suppression of both soil and foliar diseases in organic production. It uses Bacillus subtilis like Cease, although it contains a different strain and is sold primarily for agricultural use. It works similarly in that it competes with plant pathogens and stimulates ISR to improve the plant’s own defenses. Additionaly, the systemic response has been helpful in reducing transplant shock and stimulating root growth.

Controls/Suppresses: Botrytis, Powdery Mildew, Fusarium, Pythium, Rhizoctonia, Xanthomonas, and many other diseases.

Prestop WG

Prestop contains another naturally occurring microbe – Gliocladium catenulatum – to control plant diseases in three ways. It aggressively parasitizes pathogens, out-competes the pathogens in their own environment and inhibits further disease growth. This three pronged mode of action allows Prestop to maintain its effectiveness on foliar and root-borne diseases throughout the growing season. 

Controls/Suppresses: Alternaria, Bipolaris, Botrytis, Cladosporium, Colletotrichum, Fusarium, Mycosphaerella, Penicillium, Phytophthora, Plasmodiophora, Plicaria, Powdery Mildew, Pyrenochaeta, Pythium, Rhizoctonia, Sclerotinia and Verticillium

Mycostop Biofungicide

Similar to Prestop, Mycostop utilizes a three way mode of action (colonizes, parasitizes & stimulates plant defenses) to control soil-borne diseases. It has become an industry favorite for nurseries because of its effectiveness controlling damping off, wilt and other diseases common during propagation. When used early in the growing cycle, the Streptomyces strain in Mycostop fills out the areas where a pathogen could grow and cause issues. This pairing with the root system forms a biological barrier impermeable to disease cells. 

Controls/Suppresses: Seed Rot, Root and Stem Rot and Wilt caused by Fusarium, Alternaria and Phomopsis; Botrytis Gray Mold and Root Rots of Pythium, Phytophthora and Rhizoctonia; Seed or Soil-Borne Damping Off and Early Root Rot of vegetables, herbs and ornamentals

Regalia Biofungicide

Regalia may well be the king in the disease control castle at the moment. Its versatility in usage allows growers flexibility when applying it without sacrificing results. Once applied, Regalia triggers the plant’s ISR causing it to produce higher levels of specific proteins and growth inhibitors. These compounds prevent diseases from growing on or around the plant and end up increasing cell wall strength. This combination of effects leads to healthier growth, a cleaner growing area and increased yields. It can be used throughout the growing season and works best preventively before disease symptoms arise. 

Controls/Suppresses: Powdery Mildew, Fusarium, Early Blight, Shot Hole (aka Coryneum blight), Rhizoctonia spp., Brown Rot, Anthracnose, Bacterial Canker, Downey Mildew, Botrytis Neck Rot, Pythium spp., Rust, Stem Rot, Black Spot, Greasy Spot, Bacterial Spot, Phytophthora spp., White Mold, Fire Blight and more.

If you have questions about what was covered or further disease control options, we encourage you to call or email us so we can discuss it further. Our sales and technical support staff are available from 8 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday. 

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