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More biological products coming to market

Tom J Bechman early symptoms of sudden death syndrome
BIOLOGICAL SEED TREATMENT: Direct Enterprises brings CeraMax to the U.S. from Europe as a biological seed treatment to help control sudden death syndrome. Here are early symptoms of SDS.
Hi-Tech Farming: You must determine if these new products could help protect your crops from pests.

Several biological products are on the market, and more are headed your way. Your job will be to evaluate which ones fit your needs.

Direct Enterprises Inc., Westfield, Ind., brings CeraMax to the United States. CeraMax contains Natamycin, and was developed by Ceradis, a university spin-off company in the Netherlands. Ceradis is gaining traction in Europe for its green innovations geared toward reducing chemical pesticides.

DEI spokespersons say CeraMax seed treatment on soybeans increases early-season vigor and helps plants reach their genetic potential. It targets Fusarium, the fungus that causes Sudden Death Syndrome.

Added to Acceleron as a standard seed treatment, CeraMax-treated beans showed significantly lower incidence of SDS and produced an average yield increase of 4.3 bushels per acre in 50 trials across 10 states, DEI reports. According to DEI, CeraMax also bested Ilevo and Saltro in plant vigor tests with no signs of phytotoxic stress. Visit

Help for fungicides

Marrone Bio, a company known for development of biological products for specialty crops, enters the corn market with Pacesetter. It’s designed to apply with fungicides on corn. The company claims that in 2020 trials, Pacesetter produced a 6-to-1 return on investment, improving corn yields by 6.4 bushels per acre and soybean yield by 3.3 bushels per acre, compared to fungicides alone.

Developers say the product increases chlorophyll content and improves plant health. Marrone Bio trademarked a term, BioUnite, for the concept of combining biologicals and traditional chemistry. Visit

New rootworm trait

Bayer has all necessary approvals to launch Smartstax Pro, the third generation in corn rootworm control, in the U.S. in 2022. SmartStax Pro will be the first product offering three modes of action for corn rootworm control, including a novel RNAi-based mode of action. Look for it in on-farm market development trials this year. Visit

Helena releases corn herbicides

Expect to hear about Empyros corn herbicides from Helena. Empyros, Empyros Triad and Empyros Triad Flex are now registered for corn. All three contain tolpyralate, an HPPD inhibitor. Empyros also contains s-metolachlor, and Empyros Triad and Empyros Triad Flex contain the new active ingredient, s-metolachlor and atrazine. Spokespersons say tolpyralate is strong on post-emergence activity, picking up key broadleaves with good grass control. Visit

Carbon market

The Soil Health Institute, a global nonprofit group, is the scientific partner working with Truterra for soil metrics and soil sampling design for TruCarbon, billed as the first farmer-owned U.S. carbon program. TruCarbon is designed to help farmers generate and sell carbon credits to private sector buyers. Microsoft is the first secured buyer. Visit and

Droplet size keys weed control

Agco’s Application Crop Tour applied Liberty post-emergence herbicide at sprayer speeds from 5 to 15 miles per hour with spray volumes from 10 to 20 gallons per acre and with spray nozzles creating droplets from medium to extremely coarse. Darren Goebel, Agco director of Global Agronomy and Farm Solutions, says that as long as they used the appropriate nozzle to give the correct droplet size for the speed they were running, they achieved good coverage.

Liberty is a contact herbicide, and coverage is key, Goebel says. He notes that at lower carrier volumes, nozzles that create small droplets improve control, but also increase risk of drift. Visit

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