The latest in a line of new UK fungicide launches, Miravis Plus, which features the long-awaited Adepidyn technology, is finally here. CPM learns why it’s hailed as a step-change in disease control.

“For the grower, this means both visible results and tangible yield uplifts.”

By Janine Adamson

The last time CPM explored fungicide technology Adepidyn was back in July 2021. And now, nearly three years later, the product has finally landed in the form of Miravis Plus.

Syngenta admits that hopes were high for the chemistry being available before this season, but nevertheless, initial demand following its authorisation in early April would suggest growers believe it’s been worth the wait.

But why the fuss? Firstly, Adepidyn is the trademark for active ingredient pydiflumetofen, which belongs to a new group within the class of SDHI fungicides (the N-methoxy-(phenyl-ethyl)-pyrazole-carboxamide group).

And because the chemical structure of the Adepidyn molecule is different from other SDHIs, trials have confirmed it can offer greater potency against a broad spectrum of diseases while delivering considerable yield uplifts.

Syngenta’s Lizzie Carr-Archer explains that although Adepidyn is registered in 50 countries across a variety of crops, it’ll be available in the UK market for use in cereals as Miravis Plus. “We’re marketing the concept as a co-pack, so it’ll be presented as Miravis Plus with Era (prothioconazole).

“Miravis Plus is ideally suited for T2 use in wheat and barley at one application per crop (see table), and we’re delighted to have a label with no restrictions including buffer zones,” she says.

Recommended rates Miravis Plus (pydiflumetofen) + Era (prothioconazole)
Winter wheat T2 1.5-2.0 l/ha + 0.5-0.67 l/ha
Winter barley T2 1.33-1.5 l/ha + 0.44-0.5 l/ha
Spring cereals T2 1.33 l/ha + 0.44 l/ha
  To be used together, one application per crop

The chemistry behind Miravis Plus works by adhering to the plant and penetrating rapidly through the leaf surface. This creates a reservoir of active ingredient in the waxy layer of the plant tissue to enable even distribution and long lasting protection.

Syngenta’s Jason Tatnell says the result is a step-change in the control of diseases such as septoria in wheat and net blotch in barley. “However, another jewel in the crown is its control of fusarium, which is unique within the SDHI class.”

Furthermore, the company is using three key words to describe the fungicide in its launch communications – superpower, stamina and certainty – all which Jason says contribute to yield.

In terms of ‘superpower’, he explains this is related to the product’s potency. “Based on EC50 scores [the concentration (or dose) effective in producing 50% of the maximal response], you require less Miravis Plus to achieve the desired results in septoria control, compared with the first and second generation of SDHIs. In fact, it offers a 100-fold increase in potency in these tests which we view as a true step-change,” says Jason.

“As for ramularia, which has proven very difficult to control since the loss of chlorothalonil (CTL), Miravis Plus offers very good activity – again 100 times more potent than comparable SDHIs (bixafen and fluxapyroxad), seen in similar lab tests.

“If you take this to the field across two leading barley varieties, there’s a visible difference in ramularia control. The plots sprayed with Miravis Plus with Era at T2 after no T1 are much cleaner and greener; it’s a great new partner to the multi-site folpet.”

Jason also commends Miravis Plus’ control of brown rust in wheat and net blotch and rhynchosporium in barley, offering all-round broad-spectrum activity.

But even more compelling is the product’s ‘stamina’, he says. “Despite being applied at T2, Miravis Plus accumulates in the plant even until T3 for long-lasting protection. This has been demonstrated during a pot test where product concentration in the flag leaf was sampled.

“The application of Miravis Plus was made to leaf two just before the flag leaf had emerged. Plants were then grown on with samples taken at 14 days and 28 days. The results show that the product concentration within the flag leaf continued to increase during this time, demonstrating the active’s movement to new growth,” explains Jason.

Then, from an in-field perspective, green leaf area measurements further support the concept that Miravis Plus has endurance. “Research has shown that for every day from crop flowering onwards that green leaf area is kept at 37% or above, wheat yield can accumulate by 0.15t/ha.

“So looking at the time in day degrees that it takes for the flag leaf to degrade to 37.5% green leaf area, Miravis Plus with Era took the longest in ADAS trials, compared with other leading fungicide options,” points out Jason. “For the grower, this means both visible results and tangible yield uplifts.”

This stamina of the product over time is likely to be the reason why Miravis Plus is delivering on fusarium head blight control, he adds, which is unique within the SDHI group of fungicides.

“We acknowledge that T3 is the best timing to control fusarium, but by using Miravis Plus at T2 you minimise risk later down the line. In fact, research conducted by Harper Adams University has shown that an application of Miravis Plus with Era at T2 makes it more likely that a T3 of prothioconazole will keep a crop below the DON thresholds (currently 1250ppb).

“This is a ‘free kick’ into fusarium control and increases the success rate of an overall fusarium strategy,” says Jason.

Disease control aside, what about the aforementioned promised yield uplifts – the reasoning behind the ‘certainty’ descriptor? Across all wheat trials at like for like doses, Miravis Plus with Era offers a 0.3t/ha uplift on fenpicoxamid+ prothioconazole and a 0.5t/ha uplift over mefentrifluconazole+ fluxapyroxad.

Focusing on one trial in particular, across the average of three high septoria sites in 2023, Miravis Plus 1.33 l/ha with Era 0.44 l/ha offered a 1.69t/ha advantage over the control (all crops received a standard T1). Compared with fenpicoxamid+ prothioconazole it delivered +0.31t/ha, whereas with mefentrifluconazole+ fluxapyroxad it was +0.54t/ha.

However, Jason says the yield benefits in barley are even more exciting. “Again, averaging all 122 barley trials undertaken from 2020-23, for all diseases at all levels, Miravis Plus with Era delivers a 0.5t/ha uplift compared with mefentrifluconazole+ fluxapyroxad.

“And for our in-house barley trials across 20 sites, the yield uplift was +1.73t/ha over untreated, +0.53 over mefentrifluconazole+ fluxapyroxad and +0.4t/ha over bixafen+ fluopyram+ prothioconazole. Overall, the co-pack seems to deliver 0.5t/ha compared with the competition,” he comments.

But Jason believes there’s more to certainty than just yield, and that Miravis Plus offers a host of wider benefits to address the uncertainties of farming life. “This new launch offers the expected level of excellence from Syngenta formulations which results in a reliable cereals-safe product.

“Furthermore, we have a wealth of sprayer performance data which has become increasingly important of late. We’re also assured of Miravis Plus’ performance on disease resistance varieties – and that it delivers the same results in those scenarios,” he stresses.

“And it’s worth noting that SDHIs continue to deliver when there are weather extremes, particularly in hot and dry conditions which we’ve historically experienced during the spring.”

Finally, for those seeking malting premiums, the BBPA (British Beer and Pub Association)’s agrochemical list now includes pydiflumetofen (Adepidyn).

So for a product which offers so much, will it become the number one choice for growers? Lizzie says demand appears to already be there with a surge in website activity since the product’s authorisation was announced. “We’re also working to achieve registration for alternative formulations under the Miravis brand family to cater for other crops,” she adds.

But with a range of recently launched fungicide options available at varying price points, only time will tell.

This article was taken from the latest issue of CPM. Read the article in full here.

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