Combination of Albit with chemical fungicides and fungicidal seed treatment agents

Thanks to its immunizing properties, Albit is able to protect plants from diseases. The biostimulant is effective, for example, against main diseases of flax, watery soft rot and head grey mould blight of sunflower, rusts and leaf spots, and especially against root rots of cereals (Biological efficiency is up to 100%). However, fungicidal effect of Albit is considerable only at low and moderate infestation of plants. At higher infestation level, Albit should be used in combination with chemical fungicides. In this case, one can use the minimal, or (in most cases) halved recommended application rate of fungicides, since, as it is described below, joint application with Albit reinforces activity of chemical fungicides.

Summarized data of multiple (252) field trials which were carried out through 1999-2006, demonstrated high efficiency of joint application of biostimulant Albit with halved (decreased) rates of chemical fungicides and protectants based on mancozeb, dimethomorph, propiconazole, cyproconazole, triadimefon, thiabendazole, tebuconazole, flutriafol, carboxin, thiram, difenoconazole, carbendazim, sulphur, mancozeb, metalaxyl, copper compounds, oxadixyl, cymoxanil, epoxiconazole, mefenoxam, spiroxamine, triadimenol, benomyl, etc. (see the table below).

Albit was combined both with fungicides used for pre-sowing seed treatment (based on difenoconazole, carboxin, thiram, etc.) and with ones used for foliar spraying (based on propiconazole, cyproconazole, epoxiconazole, carbendazim, etc). The effectiveness of mixtures of Albit and fungicides was demonstrated for wide range of diseases (internal, soil, leaf infections, bacterial and seed infections) of different agricultures: vine, potatoes, flax, sunflower, millet, winter and spring wheat, barley, sugar beet, soybean, apple. Infection levels varied from low (prevalence of 2-10% in trials of All-Russia Institute of Vegetable Selection and Seed Breeding on soybean) to artificially high (92-95% in trials of All-Russia Institute of Leguminous and Groat Crops on millet). There was no cases of incompatibility or decreased efficiency of fungicides used in combination with Albit. These facts are witness of Albit/fungicide combination universality.

It is very important, that in majority of conducted trials the effectiveness (biological efficiency, yield increase) of combination of Albit with halved dose of a fungicide was not lower or even higher than the efficiency of just a full dose of fungicide. This feature of Albit helps to decrease pesticidal load on crops and to reduce the cost of treatments by 20-45% preserving protective effect. Summarizing all obtained data, one can say that for majority of tested protectants and fungicides, joint application of Albit with reduced doses of the fungicides increases economical effectiveness of fungicidal treatments by 1.5-2 times.

Presowing seed treatment and foliar spraying with some commonly used fungicides and fungicidal seed treatment agents, and with corresponding fungicide/Albit combinations.
Way of treatment: p – presowing seed treatment, f – foliar spraying.

Pesticide,
active ingredient

Way of treatment

 
 

propiconazole + cyproconazole

f

 

thiabendazole + tebuconazole

p

 

thiabendazole + flutriafol

p

 

carboxin + thiram

p

 

difenoconazole + cyproconazole

p

 

carbendazim

p

 

tebuconazole

p

 

epoxiconazole

f

 

thiram

p

 

thiram (older type of formulition)

p

 

spiroxamine + tebuconazole

'+ triadimenol

f

 

carboxin + thiram

p

 

carbendazim

p

 

tebuconazole

p

 

benomyl

f

 

benomyl

p

 

Trial results persuasively show advantages of Albit/fungicide combinations. It is necessary to note, that in the last years, 74 trials studying this phenomenon were carried out.

According to averaged data of all available field trials, joint application of Albit with halved doses of chemical fungicides provides the following effect:

  • in terms of biological efficiency - 130 %;
  • in terms of yield increase - 107 %;
  • in terms of profit obtained from one hectare - 200 %.

According to presented results of the trials, one can conclude, that application of combination of Albit and reduced dose of pesticide in comparison to full dose of the pesticide provides better protection of plants against diseases (by 30% in terms of biological efficiency) and provides yield increase of 7% while net profit is increased twice (data on efficiency of seed treatment agents against leaf infections were not taken into account).

Albit actually increases effectiveness of chemical fungicides. Here are mechanisms which are in charge of this phenomenon:

1) Most chemical fungicides cause more or less pronounced stress influence on plants, that are manifested in growth retardation, decreased germination, increased sensitivity of plants to diseases, pests, temperature jumps, etc. For example, the retarding influence of azole class of fungicides (tebuconazole, difenoconazol, diniconazole, etc.) towards germination is widely known. Fungicides of dimethyldithiocarbamate class (thiram) whose targets (oxidation of succinate in Krebs cycle) exist in cells of both pathogenic fungi and plant hosts, also is able to intoxicate plants. This problem is even more actual for pesticides of first generation which do not damage plants seriously just because they penetrate into pathogenic fungi faster than into the plant cells. As it was shown in our tests, fungicides might cause stress effect during whole period of plant growth.

Influence of treatments with chemical seed treatment fungicide and combination of fungicide + Albit on main characteristics of spring barley growth in plot trials (Institute of Biochemistry and Physiology of Microorganisms, 2003).

Characteristic

Variants of treatment

Control set (without treatment)

thiabendazole/flutriafol – based fungicide, 1,5 L/tonne

thiabendazole/flutriafol – based fungicide, 1,5 L/tonne + Albit, 40 ml/tonne

Germination under field conditions, %

80.9

59.1

81.3

Weight of overground part of germs (% over control)

100

80

98

Weight of germ roots (% over control)

100

94

100

Stem density

3.9

3.8

4.3

Ear length, cm

6

5.9

6.3

Yield of straw, g/plant

2.67

2.64

2.78

Yield of grain, g/m²

985

1011

1058

Albit is able to relieve stress effect of fungicides. According to data of Department of Agrochemistry of Moscow State University (2000), antistress (antidote) activity of Albit towards fungicides was 24.6% on average, in trials of All-Russia Institute of Plant Protection (2004) it varied from 7 to 62%. Demonstrable example of Albit-mediated relieving of growth retardation of barley caused by chemical fungicide is presented on Fig. 10. Owing to Albit, chemical fungicides can get rid of their collateral plant growth retarding effects while their fungicidal activity against pathogens remains intact. Therefore, even decreased doses of fungicides in presence of Albit are able to demonstrate more pronounced protective effect.

2) It is established, that Albit possesses pronounced immunogenic activity via inducing natural mechanisms of plant resistance to diseases (systematic acquired resistance, reaction of hypersensitivity). Due to this activity, Albit virtually compensates fungicidal activity of chemical pesticide decreased in result of application rate reduction. Immunization of plants is able to easily compensate considerable reduction of application rates of many fungicides, which are (in some cases) quite overrated.

3) Many fungicides visibly weaken plant immune status (ability to resist infections). They protect plants from diseases during their period of action, making plants more disease-sensitive after. For example, presowing seed treatment against root rots might make plants more sensitive to leaf infections. Being an active immunizer, Albit abolishes this effect.

4) High ecological compatibility of Albit is both its advantage and disadvantage. Since Albit consists of natural metabolites of soil bacteria, it is easily degraded by saprophyte non-pathogenic microflora living on surface of seeds and plant leaves (Penicillia, Aspergilli, yeasts, bacteria) and often do not has enough time to influence on plants properly. Therefore, even small amount of chemical fungicide, applied together with Albit, suppresses activity of microflora and protects Albit from degradation, that visibly increases Albit’s efficiency. Chemical fungicide acts in this case as a preservative. It is the reason why combinations of Albit with fungicides below 50% of their recommended application rate are quite effective sometimes.

For example, in trials carried out by Institute of Biochemistry and Physiology of Microorganisms (2004) on spring barley, addition of even 10% of recommended dose of fungicides suppressed development of pathogenic microflora and increased biological efficiency of Albit against root rots from 36 to 100%. In field trials carried out by All-Russia Institute of Leguminous and Groat Crops on spring barley (2005), presowing seed treatment with combination of Albit and 13% of recommended dose of thiabendazole/flutriafol – based fungicide, provided yield increase of 32% over control, whereas treatment with full dose of the fungicide provided just 14% of yield increase; treatment with Albit only provided 11% of yield increase. Both Albit/fungicide and fungicide only treatments provided 100% protection from root rots of barley, but Albit/fungicide treated plants demonstrated visibly accelerated growth, see details here.

Thus, joint application of chemical fungicides and Albit lead to synergism – mutual reinforcement of their fungicidal activity. This phenomenon might be presented schematically:

 

 

Schematic description of mutual reinforcement of jointly used Albit and chemical fungicides.

In some cases, when decrease of fungicide application rate is undesirable (smut infection, epiphytotic development of diseases, etc.), Albit might be used in combination with full application rate of fungicide. Such treatment relives stress caused by fungicides, that notably increases yield while fungicidal activity remains intact. However, even in this case one can use the minimum recommended rate.

Albit consists of purified active substances of microbal origin instead of living bacteria (like most other biostimulants). This important feature makes possible application of Albit without reduction of its activity even in combination with toxic chemical fungicides.

Representatives of companies producing means of chemical plant protection often stands against prospects of decreasing rates of fungicides. Their main reasons are possible reduction of protective action, acceleration of development of fungicide-resistant strains, deterioration of phytosanitary state of fields and (first of all) - decrease of sales. But the real facts disprove these arguments. As it was shown above, efficiency of treatments with decreased rates of chemical pesticides in combination with Albit in most cases is not lower, than that of full recommended doses of chemicals. There were no cases of new fungicide-resistant strains emergence on fields treated with Albit/fungicide combinations; phytosanitary state of fields even becomes better (data of Ryazan and Saratov Regional Plant Protection Stations).

Albit Scientific and Industrial LLC managed to establish a partnership with regional dealers of leading agrochemical companies (Avgust, BASF, Syngenta, SAHO, Agrorus) in many regions of Russia. In the beginning, dealers were quite hostile to possibility of joint application of Albit with reduced rates of their chemical fungicides, but then they receive evidences, that possibility to combine chemicals with Albit, on the contrary, increases sales of chemicals. Farms that were too poor to buy full assortment of chemicals, now are buying decreased amounts of chemicals to use them with Albit, that results in increase of total amounts of chemical fungicides sold.

By now, there are many examples of successful application of fungicide and plant growth stimulator combinations in agricultural practice. For example, addition of plant growth regulators to carboxin/thiram – based fungicide Vitavaks 200 lead to creation of new fungicidal seed treatment agent Vitavaks 200 FF which possesses additional plant growth stimulating effect. Possibly, producers of chemical pesticides should review inclusion of Albit into preparative forms of chemicals in manufacturing stage, that would simplify application technology of well reputated mixtures.

It is necessary to note in conclusion, that application of decreased rates of chemical fungicides has become a wide spread agricultural technique in the most agriculturally advanced regions of Russia (Krasnodar krai, Belgorod oblast, republics of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan, etc.). Also, in countries of European Union farmers are additionally subsidized to decrease fungicidal load on fields. Analogous arrangements on decrease consumption of chemical fungicides are undertaken by governments of USA, Japan, Brazil, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It is steady progressive tendency in world agriculture, which can be successfully realized with application of Albit.

Basing on data of long-term trials, All-Russia Institute of Biological Protection recommended to use plant growth regulators (including Albit) in combination with halved doses of chemical seed treatment agents and fungicides for protection of crops from main diseases. Analogous recommendations were issued by All-Russia Institute of Plant Protection, Flax Institute, and other institutes.

In conclusion, it is necessary to note, that combinations of Albit and chemical pesticides must be used strictly according to the application recommendations of corresponding pesticides and under guidance and collaboration of local representatives of manufacturers. Joint application of Albit and decreased rates of fungicides is reasonable only in absence of epiphytotic development of diseases, internal infections and under total infestation below 30%.