Within the last couple of years, several disease control tools, which include new copper products and biofungicides, have been made available to organic growers. Meg McGrath, an associate professor in the department of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology at Cornell University who gave a presentation on the subject at the New England Vegetable and Fruit Conference in December, provides information on these products and the benefits they can offer organic growers. With the new coppers, in general, she says they use less metallic copper, mix better, and are effective at lower rates than older copper products.
The Latest Coppers
Consisting of two copper products, the first one on the list is Badge from Isagro-USA. “Badge features a copper that is readily available and one that is a little slower to become available for longer lasting control,” explains McGrath.
Next is Cueva from Certis USA. This new formulation of copper is less metallic, says McGrath, “and if growers can use less metallic copper, that is a good thing. Because copper doesn’t biodegrade, there is concern that it can build up in the soil.”
Two other copper products McGrath mentions that can be used by organic growers are Nordox, from Brandt Consolidated, and Nu-Cop HB from Agri Star.
In addition to the coppers, organic growers also have a few new biofungicides from which to choose. Regalia from Marrone Bio Innovations, which has been on the market for nearly two years, has recently received a chemigation label. The new label essentially allows the product to be taken up by roots so there is better distribution of the product in the plant, says McGrath.
The new formulation of Serenade from AgraQuest, Serenade Soil, also is designed to be taken up by the roots via chemigation, she adds.
Next on the list is Tenet, which was developed by Isagro and marketed by Sipcam. Tenet contains two beneficial fungi to control disease. “This is an interesting approach looking at combinations of organisms,” says McGrath. “The fungi are active at different temperature ranges so growers should get control over a broader spectrum of environmental conditions.”
The last three products McGrath mentions are Certis USA’s MeloCon, which is a biological nematicide; TriTek from Brandt Consolidated, which was formerly called Saf-T-Side, and can be used as a fungicide, insecticide, and miticide; and AgriPhage from OmniLytics, Inc., which is a virus going after a bacterial pathogen. “Biocontrol for bacteria, is a great addition,” adds McGrath.