ONE OF the ‘great white hopes’ for cereal growers in the fight against disease, Revystar XE, has received UK authorisation for wide use.

Given the ongoing loss of chemistry in this department, this is widely regarded as an important regulatory milestone for the crop protection sector, with totally new chemistry helping to fight disease and resistance to current products.

Revystar XE contains the isopropanol-azole –mefentrifluconazole – and is the first of a class to be introduced to the market alongside Xemium, BASF’s best-in-class SDHI chemistry.

Neil Kay, of BASF, said: “This is positive news for the farming sector. This authorisation comes at a critical time into what is widely regarded as an increasingly challenging regulatory and disease control environment.

“This active is an important, robust mode of action for the market and we are so pleased to be bringing new chemistry to market that will practically and financially help growers,” Mr Kay noted.

BASF’s Ben Freer added: “I’m sensing the industry’s sigh of relief that this new chemistry is here. With the loss of chlorothalonil (CTL) and the decline in efficacy of the conventional triazoles, prothioconazole and epoxiconazole, the timing for this authorisation is pivotal.

“Key to the success of this authorisation was our decision to establish a new screening system to optimise the efficacy of Revysol against fungal pathogens whilst, in parallel, creating a product with a favourable regulatory profile. This has taken a big shift in mindset as well as in the process,” he said.

One of its selling points is an ability to have fast uptake, which gives farmers greater confidence when applying it in deteriorating weather after application. Mr Freer added: “Revystar XE can minimise weather-related risks in comparison to conventional azole-based products. It is quickly rainfast, has UV stability and is effective at a range of temperatures.”

Typically, cold temperatures during application can limit uptake of conventional azoles and compromise performance, but Revystar’s fast uptake, means that it performs well, even in cooler conditions.

“The weather-related benefits extend into the warmer weather too,” he said. “In the summer months, high UV radiation can accelerate the degradation of conventional azoles and shorten the period for which the fungicide has an effect. Rapid foliar uptake of Revystar XE gets it into the plant, where it is no-longer at risk of UV breakdown, even when radiation levels are high.”

A group of 50 farmers, part of BASF’s Real Results Circle, have undertaken field-scale trials of Revystar.

One, Richard Budd, Stevens Farm, Kent, has only half of his planned area of wheat drilled this season, but of last year’s crop, he said: “Our Revystar-treated crop yielded 0.99t/ha more than our farm standard and was greener for 10 days longer, which kept yield up.

“It held its own and kept the crop clean. We’ll be using Revystar in the spring,” he said.