December 6, 2013

Luna Fungicide Offers Great In-Season Protection with Post-Season Secondary Benefits

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor

Three different formulations of Luna Products are benefiting growers while offering a good rotation product for resistance management and even extending shelf life of cherries and apple.

With Luna Experience, Luna Sensation and Luna Tranquility, growers now have a systemic solution proven to control a wide range of horticultural diseases. Effective on almond, apple, cherry, pistachio, potato, tree nuts, watermelon and wine grape crops, Luna provides unprecedented control of some of the most problematic fungal diseases to help growers deliver the best possible fruits, nuts and vegetables.

“Luna is an outstanding fungicide for protecting fruit, nut crops, and vegetables from a wide range of fungal disease such brown rot, grey mold, Alternaria, and powdery mildew, shothole on almonds,” said Jim Adaskaveg, UC Riverside Professor and Pathologist.

Luna Tranquility with active ingredients Fluopyram and Pyrimethanil is in FRAC Group 7 and 9. It is registered on apples, potatoes and winegrapes.

Luna Experience with active ingredients Fluopyram and Tebuconazole is in FRAC Group 7 and 3. It is registered on almonds, pecans, pistachios, as well as other tree nuts, watermelon, and winegrapes.

Luna Sensation with active ingredients Fluopyram and Trifloxystrobin is in FRAC Group 7 and 11. It is registered on almonds, apples, cherries, watermelon and treenuts.

The active ingredient Fluopyram, which is in all the Luna formulations, is new pyramide chemistry. Fluopyram has been found to bind more tightly to the target site than other SDHI materials. The distinctly different structure and flexibility of the Luna active ingredient allows it to remain effective where other SDHI products are failing due to resistance.

“The Luna formulations are premixed with active ingredients in different FRAC groups and have been shown to be excellent in protecting various specialty crops from diseases, while providing much needed resistance management. In fact, Luna provides the broadest options for preventing and managing resistance,” said Adaskaveg.

Key Diseases include:

·               Powdery Mildew

·               Alternaria

·               Scab

·               Botrytis

·               Botryosphaeria

·               Bunch Rot

·               Gummy Stem Blight

·               Monilinia

·               Shothole

·               White Mold

Rob Schrick, Horticulture Business Lead for Bayer Crop Science, commented, “Every once in a while we come out with a blockbuster, herbicide, fungicide, insecticide, or biological. But we come across applications outside the original intent of the product, and Luna fungicide is one of those products.”

Luna is currently registered on seven crops throughout the U.S. including apples, cherries, tree nuts, wine grapes, potatoes and watermelons. “It’s used as a traditional regiment fungicide application. But we are seeing, as growers use this product in their current practices, that that the harvested crops exhibit high quality and extended shelf life in cherries and apples,” Schrick noted.

“In cherries, we see a dramatic difference in quality due to an in-season application of Luna,” explained Shrick. “What we are seeing in cherries, as well as apples, is up to two or three weeks of extended shelf, but the quality characteristics are also extended.”

“Our focus is the grower,” Shrick said, “and what we are trying to understand is what the value of this quality component is to the grower.”

“We are looking to expand this registration to many different crops,” Shrick commented, “which should be completed in 2015 and ready for growers for the 2016 season.”

“Science is not completely settled on this, but we believe that the postharvest benefit comes from superior control of various in-season diseases and reductions of inoculum from earlier in the season,” said Mark McAuley, Product Manager for horticultural fungicides.

“Sometimes we do not see the effect of the fungi until after harvest, but the stage is set much earlier in the year when the pathogens are on the fruit and, in some cases, even embedded into the skin of the fruit,” McAuley said. “Once in the outer skin of the fruit, they lay dormant until harvest or postharvest when conditions are more favorable for the fungi to grow. The length of fungi control postharvest is unique with Luna compared with other fungicides,” he said.

McAuley noted that testing on other pending registered fruits and vegetables is showing similar postharvest benefits.