Farmers from the Dakotas are among those in four other states trying a new nanotech delivery system for fungicide and insecticide from Vive Crop Protection.
The technology, called Allosperse, uses polymer nanoparticle shuttles to control how and when crop protection products are delivered to the plant after being applied. This is new technology for agriculture that is comparable to how some pharmaceuticals are delivered to precise targets within the human body, the company says.
Farmers in South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois applied the two new products, AZteroid and Bifender, to corn and soybean acres this spring. In addition, trials were conducted in potato and sugarbeet plots.
It’s still too early to assess yield results, says Darren Anderson, Vive Crop Protection’s chief communications officer. But producer feedback and field observations have been excellent, he says.
AZteroid is one of the first fungicides built for compatibility with liquid fertilizer, and producers were pleased with their newfound ability to apply starter fertilizer and fungicide in-furrow in a single pass, he says.
In field observations, corn and soybean plants grown with a combination of starter fertilizer and AZteroid applied in-furrow were larger, with significantly more root mass when compared with plants that only received starter fertilizer, he says.
This combination of AZteroid and fertilizer was applied as one uniform mixture, thanks to the Allosperse technology. Crop protection products typically fail to mix thoroughly with liquid fertilizer. However, with Allosperse, this problem is no longer an issue. As a result, multiple products can be conveniently applied in a single pass across the field.
“One producer relayed a story of mixing AZteroid with starter fertilizer in the tank, only to be delayed for four days because of rain,” Anderson says. “When he was finally able to get in the field, there was only a small amount of residue in the check balls, and even that came right off once he got moving.”
Producers said the products worked well when mixed directly in the fertilizer tank as well as when applied through a Dosatron mixer and meter. There were no problems even with a high-zinc starter fertilizer, and the products exhibited excellent mixing properties with glyphosate and Capture LFR.
AZteroid contains azoxystrobin and provides broad-spectrum control for a variety of seed and seedling diseases. Bifender contains bifenthrin and provides broad-spectrum control of many serious insect pests dwelling at or below the soil surface. AZteroid can be tank-mixed with Bifender by growers who want to simultaneously control seedling disease and soilborne insect pests. Bifender is particularly useful applied to seed that has not received a seed treatment, but both Bifender and AZteroid can also be used to provide extra protection to treated seed.