Potato Grower

November 2021

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28 POTATO GROWER | NOVEMBER 2021 Diggin' In Diggin' In New products combine powers of biological agents and synthetic chemistries Hybrids: The Next Generation CROP PROTECTION | By Moshe Reuveni The global search for plant protection solutions that are both environmentally safe and efficacious is driven by the need to supply food to an ever-growing world population. The call for chemical load reduction is an important aspect of sustainable agriculture. In addition, years of farming and inbreeding have led to crops losing their natural immunity or resistance to fungal and bacterial pathogens. Despite the application of traditional chemical pesticides aimed to combat this resistance—either by chemical rotation or mixtures of different chemicals—the result is highly toxic environments that are mostly effective in the short term. New effective alternatives to existing products are required to increase options for the control of plant diseases. These need to provide different and multiple modes of action with a lower risk for fungicide resistance and place a smaller chemical load on the environment simultaneously with consistent disease control. Biopesticides are naturally occurring products derived from materials such as plants, bacteria, viruses and minerals. Among them, botanical biopesticides are considered attractive for plant protection. Tea tree oil is a valuable essential oil extracted by steam distillation of Melaleuca alternifolia leaves. It contains many components, mostly terpenes and their alcohols, has been shown to be an effective antiseptic, fungicide and bactericide. STK Bio-Ag Technologies has recognized tea tree oil's uniquely powerful potential for plant protection and has developed it for a broad spectrum of plant-pathogenic fungi with strong prophylactic and curative activities in numerous crops, including vegetables, herbs, grapevines, bananas, rice, coffee and fruit trees. New hybrid solutions are now proving a "best-of-both-worlds" opportunity by combining biological and chemical crop protection active ingredients to provide an effective solution for long-term protection. A hybrid solution approaches crop control differently than traditional pesticides by creating a long-lasting and highly effective solution. Regev EC by STK Bio-Ag (exclusively distributed in the U.S. by SummitAgro) is the first potent hybrid fungicide in the market. Its unique activity presents a very low probability for the development of resistance or cross- resistance in plant pathogens. Regev's hybrid formulation of difenoconazole and tea tree oil provides various modes of action against plant pathogens and plant defense mechanisms for improved efficacy in plant disease control and the cultivation of successful crop yields. This photomicroscopy shows the rupture of a diseased cell caused by Regev hybrid fungicide.

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