5 Questions With Rick Kraus Of Valent U.S.A.

5 Questions With...

American/Western Fruit Grower recently talked with Rick Kraus, Valent U.S.A. Corp. brand manager, and Curtis Rainbolt, a BASF technical service representative. The discussion focused on topics such as grower needs and resistance issues. What follows are five questions we asked of Kraus and Rainbolt and their responses.

Q: What are the key attributes your company looks for when developing fungicides for fruits and vegetables, and how do those attributes relate to grower needs?

KRAUS: We try to bring something new and novel to the industry that has a different mode of action. The reason why that is so important is that it is necessary to assist growers with overall resistance management. Over time, there has been continuous exposure to older chemistries and they have started to slip in their overall performance. The other thing we try to do, as we go out into the marketplace, is to talk about stewardship related to the use of all materials. That really relates to making sure growers use the right fungicide for the right reasons.

RAINBOLT: There are two key attributes. No. 1, performance. No. 2, ideally a new mode of action or bringing a current mode of action into a new crop. Improved performance allows the grower to maximize the potential yield and quality of their crop. Bringing a new mode of action to a crop allows the grower to effectively practice resistance management.

Q:What are growers saying is most important in disease control?

RAINBOLT: The most important thing to the grower is having fungicides that perform at a high level and consistently deliver a return on investment. In order to maintain performance over the long term, it is important to practice resistance management by rotating fungicide modes of action. If you relied on just one mode of action, there would eventually be a problem with resistance. That’s why we just brought Vivando (metrafenone) to the grape market. It has a new mode of action.

KRAUS: For apples or pome fruit in the Eastern part of the U.S., the most important disease to control is apple scab. Apple scab is a disease that either growers do a good job controlling, which in turn brings a premium price for those apples in the fresh market environment, or if they do a poor job, obviously that creates a scab situation and decreases the potential income of the grower.

When it comes to stone fruit, brown rot is the biggest disease growers are concerned with. With brown rot it is the timing of the applications but also the situation as it relates to the weather conditions.

Q: Because resistance is such an issue, how can you stop or discourage growers from over-using a new, effective product?

KRAUS: It literally starts at the writing of our label. We have language on our label referring to what is the best approach to manage resistance. We also reinforce that with our advertising. We try to address resistance in our informational sheets, as well.

RAINBOLT: The best way is to offer multiple tools that are effective. If a grower is in a tough situation and only has one effective fungicide, they may be forced to repeatedly use the product in order to save their crop. One important part of practicing resistance management is to understand that different trade names don’t necessarily mean a different mode of action. When developing a resistance management plan, it’s important to use fungicides that have different FRAC (Fungicide Resistance Action Committee) codes.

Q:What types of products do you have coming down the pike?

RAINBOLT: Vivando fungicide was just registered for powdery mildew control in grapes in California, and BASF is anticipating registration in other grape growing states soon. In the near future, BASF hopes to bring Xemium fungicide into both fruit and vegetable crops. It’s a new chemistry that will bring a higher level of performance to growers.

KRAUS: In the next two or four years we hope to have three or four new molecules coming out, one of which is a brand new novel mode of action. The others have a mode of action or are in a class of chemistry that already exists in the marketplace.

Q: Where do you see the disease control segment of the crop protection industry headed?

KRAUS: For growers, the biggest things for them include using maximum rates, shortening the spray interval, and making sure the equipment they are using to apply these fungicides is in very good operating order. The other thing we talk about is tank mixtures and premixtures that contain two chemistries that are of different modes of action. So if resistance is an issue on a specific disease, the second material in that mixture will actually control the resistance isolate.

RAINBOLT: It’s very positive. Our company is working hard to bring new products to fruit growers. Growers can expect innovations from BASF in the future; it’s a real focus for us.

Leave a Reply

Fruits Stories
a group of ripe strawberries
Citrus
April 28, 2017
EPA Approves New Plant Growth Stimulant
RIO from Arysta LifeScience North America is labeled for use on citrus, vegetables, tree fruit, strawberries, grapes, and nuts. Read More
Fruits
April 28, 2017
Ag Labor: An Old Challenge with New Wrinkles
A new administration brings uncertainty, but change could be coming. Until then, here’s what you can do. Read More
Fruits
April 28, 2017
Don’t Miss the Ripple Effect of Ag Labor
When addressing the topic of ag labor, don’t ignore the ancillary benefits each agriculture job supports. Read More
Fruits
April 28, 2017
Organic Farms Continue To Grow
The 13% increase from 2015 to 2016 marks the highest growth rate in nearly 10 years. Read More
Citrus
April 27, 2017
Trump Creates Agricultural Task Force
Panel to examine issues facing today’s growers including labor, food safety, and regulations. Read More
Citrus
April 26, 2017
Perdue Sworn in as Ag Secretary
USDA launches Twitter account to help promote the industry. Read More
Apples & Pears
April 26, 2017
Debunking the Myth of Calcium and Fruit Quality
Nutrient management and crop quality clearly go hand in hand. But not always in the ways you might think. In Read More
Berries
April 26, 2017
Tips To Manage Winter-Damaged Blueberries
While low-chill varieties in Southern states may have experienced freeze damage for the second year in a row, giving those plants extra care will help ensure a good start to the 2018 growing season. Read More
Grapes
April 25, 2017
Examining the Effectiveness of Biologicals Against Downy Mildew in Grapes
Growing conditions in the East are breeding grounds for pathogens, and coupled with highly susceptible Vitis vinifera cultivars proves to make sustainable grape growing practices a challenge. Read More
Judi Whitson, 2016 Florida Woman of the Year in Agriculture
Citrus
April 24, 2017
Who Will Be Florida’s next Woman of the Year in Agriculture?
Nomination period now open for longstanding recognition from FDACS. Read More
Apples & Pears
April 24, 2017
Researcher Uncovers the Origins of ‘Honeycrisp’ Apple
Thanks to the scientific data available through gene sequencing, a graduate student unlocks the mystery parentage. Read More
Citrus
April 23, 2017
Bio Huma Netics, Inc., and Mesa Verde Resources Expand Product Selection
Strategic alliance between the two companies is designed to offer customers greater access to products. Read More
Washington Capitol building
Citrus
April 21, 2017
Alliance Stepping Up Efforts to Protect Specialty Crops
The Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance has kicked off its efforts to communicate to Congress its priority needs for the Read More
Apples & Pears
April 21, 2017
Interpera Congress Heads to Pacific Northwest in June
International pear conference comes to the U.S. for the first time. Read More
glass of red wine
Grapes
April 20, 2017
Would You Be Willing to Pay More for Organic Wine?
While consumers might be ready to fork over more for organic produce, study says the feeling isn't quite the same when it comes to the adult beverage. Read More
The Latest
Citrus
April 29, 2017
Florida Ag Commissioner Pushes for Probe…
With a focus on Mexico, letter sent by Adam Putnam to the U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary stresses need for level playing field. Read More
Crop Protection
April 29, 2017
BioSafe Systems Introduces Broad-Spectru…
Alternative to potassium bicarbonate and lime sulfur for tree and vine crops. Read More
Citrus
April 28, 2017
EPA Approves New Plant Growth Stimulant
RIO from Arysta LifeScience North America is labeled for use on citrus, vegetables, tree fruit, strawberries, grapes, and nuts. Read More
Fruits
April 28, 2017
Ag Labor: An Old Challenge with New Wrin…
A new administration brings uncertainty, but change could be coming. Until then, here’s what you can do. Read More
Fruits
April 28, 2017
Don’t Miss the Ripple Effect of Ag…
When addressing the topic of ag labor, don’t ignore the ancillary benefits each agriculture job supports. Read More
Fruits
April 28, 2017
Organic Farms Continue To Grow
The 13% increase from 2015 to 2016 marks the highest growth rate in nearly 10 years. Read More
Citrus
April 27, 2017
Trump Creates Agricultural Task Force
Panel to examine issues facing today’s growers including labor, food safety, and regulations. Read More
Citrus
April 26, 2017
Perdue Sworn in as Ag Secretary
USDA launches Twitter account to help promote the industry. Read More
Citrus
April 24, 2017
Who Will Be Florida’s next Woman of the …
Nomination period now open for longstanding recognition from FDACS. Read More
Citrus
April 23, 2017
Bio Huma Netics, Inc., and Mesa Verde Re…
Strategic alliance between the two companies is designed to offer customers greater access to products. Read More
Citrus
April 21, 2017
Alliance Stepping Up Efforts to Protect …
The Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance has kicked off its efforts to communicate to Congress its priority needs for the Read More
Crop Protection
April 20, 2017
Beetle Battle Burgeoning for South Flori…
Scientists identify more species of pests that vector deadly fungus. Read More
Citrus
April 20, 2017
Farm Labor Is in Crisis
To have a great crop potentially rot in the field because workers can’t be sourced is probably worse than a weather event taking out production. Read More
Citrus
April 18, 2017
Florida Growers Seeking Inspiration Need…
The firsthand experience of speaking with farmers and actually seeing all the hard work, knowledge, ingenuity, and people behind where our food comes from is invaluable. Read More
Farm Management
April 18, 2017
Survey Says New York Growers Lost More t…
Growers say they suffered more than 50% crop losses in Western New York. Read More
Fruits
April 17, 2017
How Fruit Growers Use Biocontrols [Infog…
The editors at American Fruit Grower and Western Fruit Grower were curious about how biocontrols are impacting the industry. So we took a look at our 2017 State of the Fruit Industry Survey to see what patterns are emerging. Here's what we learned. Read More
Citrus
April 17, 2017
Florida Flush with Water Shortage Warnin…
Conservation practices preached throughout the state as exceptionally dry pattern persists.  Read More
Citrus
April 17, 2017
Natural Enemies for Asian Citrus Psyllid
The eventual spread of Huanglongbing (HLB), or citrus greening, to commercial groves in California seems inevitable. But the devastation seen Read More