Powdery mildew is the most economically important disease in Australian viticulture and it is estimated to cost the industry $76 million annually in lost production. Powdery mildew is particularly difficult to control as the cultivated grapevine originates from Europe whereas the pathogens that cause powdery mildew originate from North America. As the crop and the disease evolved separately on different continents, no known bio-control agents for the disease developed in tandem with the crop and the only method growers have to control the pathogens are fungicides.
The Dow AgroSciences range includes two fungicides, Mycloss Xtra and Legend, which each have different modes of action for the control of powdery mildew. These two fungicides have proven performance in Australia and have short 14 day harvest withholding periods.
For growers that operate in difficult conditions – whether they are hot and humid or cold and crisp – Mycloss Xtra and Legend have provided a solution:
“Even with the adverse weather condition of a cool climate region, I have now waved the worry of powdery mildew away.” – Phil Dolan, Kimberley TAS.
“33 years nurturing a high humidity vineyard, positioned on the edge of the wide Tamar estuary in Tasmania, had me running for cover under attack from powdery mildew. Thankfully Mycloss Xtra works wonders in humid conditions”. – Mark Semmens, Deviot TAS.
“Hot or cold conditions it’s not a problem.” – Dominic Cellante, Lilydale VIC.
Legend and Mycloss Xtra both have systemic and vapour activity. The systemic activity means the product moves through the plant protecting unsprayed plant tissue from infection. Through vapour activity the product redistributes in the canopy, enhancing the overall protective properties.
Combined, these features help growers achieve greater coverage and greater protection:
“With multiple leaf coverage and bunch clumping powdery mildew is difficult to control. We use Mycloss Xtra and have found the systemic and vapour activity gives us undetectable levels of powdery mildew”. – Harry Gratte, West Swan WA.
“I use Legend on my large canopy vineyards to take advantage of the vapour activity and to ensure maximum coverage. Result – zero powdery mildew.” – Murray Leake Hahndorf SA.
“With the systemic and vapour activity of Mycloss Xtra I feel confident.” – Phil Dolan, Kimberley TAS.
The performance of a fungicide can be looked at in many different ways, but a key consideration must be efficacy. Many fungicides share a similar mode of action and repeated applications of these products has led to the development and spread of fungicide resistance. These products no longer provide reliable disease control and their continued use exacerbates the problem. Mycloss Xtra and Legend are from different MoA groups and so are perfect to use in rotation with both offer great protection:
“We had no signs of disease after using Legend.” – Jan Pollard, Wagga Wagga NSW.
“Legend has resigned powdery mildew to a thing of the past with effective control of one of the more difficult diseases we have to contend with.” – Ian MacMillan, McLaren Vale SA.
“Mycloss Xtra is the only product that saved our entire crop from rejection.” – Ashley Shugg, Renmark SA.
Light brown apple moth is a native Australian leaf roller which has a close association with botrytis bunch rot. As the damage LBAM causes can vary markedly from year to year it is important to closely monitor their populations to ensure a cost effective management program.
When levels of LBAM do reach threshold levels; Prodigy is the ideal choice for grapegrowers. Prodigy is a very specific insecticide that is only active on caterpillar pests. It is not harmful to beneficial arthropods such as ladybirds, spiders, lacewings or parasitoid wasps. It has no effect on predatory mites and will not flare aphids, mealybugs or other pests. When used early in the season Prodigy leaves beneficial arthropod populations intact to continue controlling pests, providing an ideal foundation for an programme. In addition, Prodigy has an unprotected re-entry period as soon as the spray has dried. It has an excellent mammalian and environmental profile, being safe to users and non-target organisms and is approved for use in all grape crops and cleared by AWRI for use in export wine grapes up to 80% capfall.
Most importantly Prodigy offers excellent control of LBAM. It had ovicidal activity which means eggs sprayed with Prodigy, or laid on surfaces treated with Prodigy, will be controlled. It also controls later (4th and 5th) caterpillar instars by causing premature moulting resulting in the death of the pest. After ingestion, caterpillars stop feeding within hours and death occurs within several days.
Prodigy is not systemic but remains on the sprayed surface for up to 21 days. This means Prodigy is able to control caterpillars from eggs to pupae. As with all non-systemic contact insecticides it is important to ensure good spray coverage in the crop when applying Prodigy in order to get the best out of the product.