Resistance To Change – A Grower Conundrum [Sponsor Content]

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Joe Lara, BASF product manager

Joe Lara, BASF product manager

Our natural human tendency is to avoid change. Doing something different is generally uncomfortable. For some, it can introduce levels of stress. Predictability and stability seems to have less risk involved. However, while change may seem daunting, the resistance to change also takes energy, time and resources.

When we plan ahead, create routines and develop habits, we expect it will yield consistent results. And you would think that by doing the same thing over and over and getting, or at least expecting to get the same results is good, right? It would seem so. But in the world of production horticulture and with the use of registered products for pest management, you are often faced with results that are less than consistent.

If we’re not careful, the comfort we develop with our habits may make us our own worst enemy. This is the conundrum of conventional pest management. Our natural resistance to properly vary the products we rely on to manage the always-present pest pressures in production can sometimes be the very reason for resistance that we are trying to avoid. Unfortunately, our resistance to change can produce resistance to good results, in terms of pest resistance to registered pest control products.

Rotation is key. Or more specifically, a chemical mode-of-action (MOA) rotation. Generally accepted as a foundational principle among industry professionals – growers and applicators – it is well practiced by many. However, for the non-practitioner, there is a price to be paid.
The lack of rotating chemistries with different modes-of-action will not only produce increasingly less effective pest management results, it will ultimately limit the pest control product options for the grower. In a production environment that has all the potential to turn south in a matter of days, or even hours, having as many options as possible is crucial for success. With up to hundreds of thousands of dollars of crop value at risk, you want to keep all effective pest management options available to avoid losing those investments.

BASF embraces its role to develop not only new pest management products, but more importantly new chemistries with novel MOA that provide the industry with the right kind of options. Recycling the same chemistry under another name and long lists of combination products often makes following effective MOA rotation programs very confusing and complex. In many cases, it increases the risk of cross resistance by inadvertent overuse or through sub-lethal applications of too many chemical products within complicated programs.

In many ways, bringing new chemistry with new MOA to the market may seem like swimming upstream against a torrent of recycled, post-patent chemistries in stand-alone or blended products. However, BASF remains committed to this objective. Our goal is to create strong, make-sense foundational pest management programs where rotation recommendations with distinctly different MOA are transparent and simple.

For example, recently registered by the EPA, cyflumetofen (commercial name Sultan™ miticide) possesses a novel mode-of-action (Complex I) that will immediately become an important and much needed rotation product in mite pest management programs. Effective on all five life stages of mites and with rapid knockdown in as little as three hours, it will easily take its place as a new stand-alone or tank mix miticide product in mite control programs.

Sultan miticide joins the growing list of foundational BASF products in many leading horticulture programs – familiar names like Pageant Intrinsic® brand fungicide and Empress Intrinsic® brand fungicide, FreeHand® 1.75G herbicide, Pendulum® herbicide, Nemasys® beneficial nematodes, Sprint® 330 and Sprint® 138 brand chelated iron micronutrients.

Let our BASF field sales and technical team experts confidently walk with you through the changes that will yield better pest management programs that are good for you and your business. Let BASF show you how thinking differently and moving beyond the same old habits will help you grow healthier and more resilient ornamental crops.

Joe Lara is a product manager at BASF.

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