Plant Health: Research To Reality

Greenhouse and nursery growers have struggled more and more with wise use of water, unpredictable weather patterns and disease control. These issues have made the emergence of technology that can deliver plant health benefits to mitigate these problems more welcome than ever.

At BASF we have been studying plant heath for more than 10 years in agricultural crops. The beginnings of this were in the early 2000s, when BASF launched several fungicides into the crop market that were based on its proprietary active ingredient pyraclostrobin.

As with many new products, you don’t often see their true potential until they are adopted by the marketplace. As they were used for disease control growers noticed additional plant health benefits, which led to BASF’s research in this area.

For example, farmers using these fungicides report higher yields in many crops such as wheat, corn and soybeans. Corn stalks are stronger, leading to more efficient harvest, and crops were better able to tolerate stresses such as heat, drought, and cold, than those that were not treated with a pyraclostrobin-based fungicide.

Further research by BASF indicated that plant health effects delivered by these fungicides included increased plant efficiency via more efficient photosynthesis and better use of nitrogen. This research also uncovered evidence of increased plant tolerance to stress through a decrease in ethylene production and an increase in antioxidant activity.

So on the crop side the plant health evidence was, well, evident. The next step fell to BASF Professional Turf & Ornamentals in determining whether its pyraclostrobin-based products could deliver improved plant health for turf professionals and greenhouse and nursery growers.

After three years of research in turf, BASF launched the Intrinsic brand in fall of 2010.  Intrinsic is an umbrella brand for all products that have the words “plant health” on the product label. In turf, BASF launched Honor® Intrinsic™ brand fungicide and Insignia® SC Intrinsic brand fungicide to help superintendents manage stress on golf courses. Honor and Insignia SC Intrinsic help turf to overcome stress events such as drought, extreme temperatures and aerification through root system retention.  

As of 2012, BASF has been researching plant health with ornamentals for more than five years. I’m pleased to report this research proves plant health in ornamentals when plants are treated with our pyraclostrobin-based fungicide called Pageant® Intrinsic brand fungicide.
Plants are less stressed during temperature extremes and drought conditions, recover more quickly after shipping, and have greater fresh weight and fewer damaged leaves when treated with Pageant Intrinsic. Pageant Intrinsic launches this month and we will share specifics on the above points and more information later this series.

And the journey now includes taking part in this series with Greenhouse Grower to learn what others have seen, and how growers can experience proven plant health benefits at their own operations. I’m confident we will all learn and benefit from the discourse.

Leave a Reply

More From BASF...
The-Capitol

July 7, 2015

Washington Gridlock Could Block Industry Research Funding

The latest standoff on Capitol Hill could have some implications for the floral industry, including future funding for floriculture and nursery research initiative activities, says Shawn McBurney, SAF’s senior director of government relations. “Republicans in the House and Senate are determined to work within the sequester-imposed limits for domestic spending in the federal budget, but Democrats have threatened to block any appropriations bills until Republicans agree to spend more money than that agreement allows,” McBurney says. “With both sides digging in, there could be an impact on budgets that affect programs and services important to the floral industry.” The back and forth over spending limits isn’t new, McBurney says. In 2013, then-Budget Committee Chairmen Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) negotiated an agreement that increased spending levels for defense and nondefense discretionary spending equally above the sequester level for two years, offset by fee increases and changes to mandatory […]

Read More
Medal of Excellence Award

July 6, 2015

Get To Know The 9 Variety Finalists For Editor’s Choice And Industry’s Choice Awards

Greenhouse Grower‘s Evening Of Excellence reception is rapidly approaching. Here, you can learn more about the varieties that are finalists for the Medal Of Excellence Editor’s Choice and Industry’s Choice Breeding Awards. Thank you to the 2015 sponsors of Greenhouse Grower‘s Medal Of Excellence Awards, Landmark Plastic, Nufarm and Stockosorb. Editor’s Choice Asclepias ‘Monarch Promise’ (Hort Couture) Basil ‘Balsamic Blooms’ (EuroAmerican Propagators) Celosia ‘Dragon’s Breath’ (Sakata Seed) Dianthus Jolt Series (PanAmerican Seed) Salvia Grandstand Series (Green Fuse Botanicals) Scabiosa ‘Kudos Pink’ (Hishtil Nurseries) Industry’s Choice Basil ‘Balsamic Blooms’ (EuroAmerican Propagators) Bidens BeeDance Series (Suntory Flowers) Celosia ‘Dragon’s Breath’ (Sakata Seed) Dianthus Jolt Series (PanAmerican Seed) Lobelia ‘Starship Deep Rose’ (Kieft Seed) Vinca Valiant Series (PanAmerican Seed)     Join us Monday, July 13 in Ballroom 2 at the Columbus Convention Center to find out which varieties will receive the coveted awards. The reception begins at 5:15 p.m. and the ceremony […]

Read More
crider-rd2-internal_Rough-Brothers_featured

July 1, 2015

Rough Brothers Is Acquired By Gibraltar Industries

RBI Solar Inc., Rough Brothers Manufacturing Inc. and affiliates have been acquired by Gibraltar Industries, a manufacturer and distributor of products for residential and industrial markets, for $130 million. Capitalizing on its 80 years of design-build experience and leadership as the largest greenhouse manufacturer in North America, Ohio-based RBI has established itself during the past five years as North America’s fastest-growing provider of photovoltaic (PV) solar racking solutions. The transaction will enable Gibraltar to leverage its expertise in structural metals manufacturing and materials sourcing to meet global demand for solar racking solutions. The company also announced that it anticipates its second-quarter 2015 financial results will be in line with its previous expectations. “Acquiring RBI is an important step in the transformation of Gibraltar into a company with a higher rate of growth and best-in-class financial metrics,” says Gibraltar CEO Frank Heard. “This acquisition directly aligns with key end markets and product platforms […]

Read More
Latest Stories
Verbena estrella 'Voodoo Star.' The top row is untreated. The bottom row was treated with Pageant Intrinsic Brand Fungicide at 4 oz/100 gallons at sticking. This image was taken several days after sticking.

July 7, 2014

Want Better Rooting During Propagation? Try A Fungicide…

Research shows that fungicide use can improve tolerance to stress and increase propagation speed.

Read More

May 9, 2013

The Notorious Oomycetes

The oomycetes (Oomycota), also known as water molds, are a group of pathogens that play a large role in the decomposition of plants and the breakdown of organic matter. While this scenario is perfect for the great outdoors, it can cost greenhouse growers millions of dollars in yearly sales. Just as late blight (an oomycete, Phytophthora infestans) caused the devastating Irish potato famine that killed millions of people, oomycetes such as Phytophthora, Pythium and downy mildew leave a wake of destruction in their path when they run rampant in the greenhouse. Good Water Management Is Critical The name “water molds” is a bit of a misnomer. Although several species of oomycetes thrive in wet conditions, many do not. Where they were once classified as fungi, recent research shows they are more closely related to algae.“Water management is basic to controlling many of these pathogens,” says Janna Beckerman, associate professor of […]

Read More

April 12, 2012

An Apple A Day

Having a tool such as Pageant® Intrinsic™ to provide plants with an extra boost to help them weather times of stress is a real bonus for growers. However, it can’t be relied on 100 percent – nothing can. The first line of defense for keeping plants in tip-top shape so they have the best chance of resisting problems is proper nutrition. Your mother was right. If you ate healthy food, you got sick less. The same is true for plants – they just complain less. Providing just the right amount of nutrients at the right time is one of the most crucial components of plant health. Although based in science, it is a true art. Different species of plants require different amounts of nutrients, and variables such as soil type and pH, light and moisture levels, temperature and the growth stage of the plant all affect how much of a […]

Read More

April 12, 2012

Plant Health: Research To Reality

Greenhouse and nursery growers have struggled more and more with wise use of water, unpredictable weather patterns and disease control. These issues have made the emergence of technology that can deliver plant health benefits to mitigate these problems more welcome than ever. At BASF we have been studying plant heath for more than 10 years in agricultural crops. The beginnings of this were in the early 2000s, when BASF launched several fungicides into the crop market that were based on its proprietary active ingredient pyraclostrobin. As with many new products, you don’t often see their true potential until they are adopted by the marketplace. As they were used for disease control growers noticed additional plant health benefits, which led to BASF’s research in this area. For example, farmers using these fungicides report higher yields in many crops such as wheat, corn and soybeans. Corn stalks are stronger, leading to more […]

Read More

April 12, 2012

A Welcome Side Effect

All growers know that while many things have to go right to get a healthy crop to market, only one thing has to go wrong to ruin it. Usually they know this from painful experience. Despite careful monitoring of temperature, light, nutrients, moisture and humidity, plus constant attention to the presence of diseases or pests, it only takes one time for an employee to forget to water or for a thermostat to malfunction to make a crop unsaleable. Plant health management has always been a balancing act with little room for error. The importance of aesthetics over yield in the ornamental industry means consumers will tolerate very little damage to the plants. It goes without saying that plants should be maintained in optimum health to allow them the best chance to resist disease and stress. But more and more, plant researchers are finding that there are actual cellular responses within […]

Read More