PRECISION technology is being used to asses crop emergence and verify the development of BASF’s first SDHI fungicide for in-furrow treatment against rhizoctonia solani in potatoes.

First launched two years ago and based on Xemium (fluxapyroxad), Allstar has shown excellent efficacy in trials, producing brighter, more marketable and more uniform potatoes with fewer skin blemishes.

Now, the company has signed an agreement with the state-of-the-art remote sensing technology company, Hummingbird Technologies, to measure crop emergence and growth of potato crops in the field, and in trial plots.

It will use fixed wing and multi-rotor drones with multi-spectral and hyper-spectral sensors to feed data back to BASF on crop evenness, plus canopy development in crops treated with Allstar.

“Hummingbird uses high resolution aerial imagery to provide more precise figures behind what has been observed in the field and in trials to benchmark Allstar against other in-furrow fungicides,” said BASF’s Paul Goddard.

“Even crop emergence means creating more leaf, more photosynthetic area so results in a higher potential yield. An even crop is easier to manage. It helps with applying herbicides and irrigation as well as burn-down strategies at the end of the season."

In 50 ‘Grower Experience’ trials in the pre-launch, evenness of crop emergence was seen as a key benefit and this should confirm this.

Rhizoctonia is a pathogen which causes yield sapping stem and stolon cankers, unsightly skin blemishes making it essential to control in potatoes destined for fresh, seed and processing sectors. It can cause up to 30% yield loss.

It is applied at 0.8 l/ha in the furrow and has been designed to be applied through all commercial in furrow applicators.