Disease Control And Plant Health

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We’ve told you about the science behind the Intrinsic™ brand fungicides from BASF, and we’ve shared our lab research on disease control and plant health. Now it’s time to share the results of field research with Pageant® Intrinsic brand fungicide.

As we uncovered benefits to plants such as tolerance to cold, heat and drought, it was time to see these at work in uncontrolled conditions like the kind growers face every day. Temperatures and other stresses are never regulated; Mother Nature’s microclimates and changeable weather sees to that. Sometimes shipping gives your plants a beating as well.

As we took the plant health research to the field in 2009, 2010 and 2011, we worked with noted ornamental expert Paul Pilon of Perennial Solutions Consulting, and three growers: two in Michigan and one in Connecticut. We looked at both drought and cold tolerance, and the plant material studied included rooted liners for cold tolerance, pot mums for drought tolerance, and a garden mum study that included drought tolerance and marketability with a large big box retailer. In addition, impatiens, pansies and geraniums were studied specifically by growers for cold tolerance.

When compared to untreated plants, those treated with Pageant Intrinsic had reduced drought symptoms and recovered better. Treated plants also exhibited increased tolerance to cold and faster recovery. The results did vary by variety, temperature during cold event, and duration of cold.

Additional observations made by these field trials included:
• Reduced magnitude of symptoms following stress events

• Treated plants recovered and resumed a normal rate of growth faster than untreated plants

• When exposed to drought, treated plants exhibited tolerance that may be beneficial to growers for shipping and retail situations

• Treated plants exposed to the cold tolerate shipping, light frost events and movement from greenhouse to outdoor sites fared better than untreated.

In the retail study, three varieties of garden mums were watered as needed upon arrival at the retail location. Untreated plants required watering every two days, whereas the Pageant Intrinsic treated plants did not require watering until day seven, and a second watering four days later. After 11 days at the store, the Pageant Intrinsic treated plants required 60 percent fewer irrigations versus. untreated plants. These benefits can be very tangible as fewer discards at retail locations means fewer credits and higher profits for growers.

These growers who worked with BASF on the aforementioned research now see Pageant Intrinsic brand fungicide as an innovation that will help them be more successful and are looking for opportunities with other plants. However, it’s important to remember that these products should be used as a fungicide first for disease control.

If by using Pageant Intrinsic you can also activate a plant’s defenses making it better prepared to endure stress, then you’ve got peace of mind and more marketable plants.

Thavy Staal is the marketing manager for BASF Professional Turf & Ornamentals.

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