IN WHAT LOOKS SET to be a potentially ‘wetter than normal’ year for many wine regions, growers are likely to continue to face challenges in managing the spectrum of diseases present in Australian vineyards in the 2016/17 season.


While captan has long been a cost-effective fixture in many spray programs for the management of key diseases, its future remains unclear and use in grapes that may end up in wine destined for the EU should still be avoided.

Andrew Horsfield – General Manager Technical Development, Adama Australia, explains that his team have been busy developing effective alternatives to fill the gap left by captan.

“As the leading manufacturer of captan globally, Adama aim to provide evidence to support its use in several key wine grape markets around the world. Captan (Merpan®) is widely used by apple and pear growers in the EU to protect fruit from Apple and Pear Scab while folpet (Folpan®) is instead used in the EU in grapevines and is the leading protectant fungicide due to its higher level of Downy Mildew control.”

Andrew confirmed that “Adama Australia will this season commence its fifth year of development work in Australia to bring Folpan® to market here with the aim to once again provide a broad spectrum, cost-effective Multi-site Activity (Group M4) protectant fungicide alternative”.

“We also hope to be able to announce shortly an extension to the Gem® Fungicide label allowing not only its use against Eutypa but perhaps more importantly to target Downy Mildew and Botrytis Bunch Rot from early flowering this season. We have performed extensive development trials in recent years to be able to bring this unique use for fluazinam (Group 29) to Australia after introducing it in NZ where it now plays a very important role in wine grape disease management programs.”

Luke Collins, Adama Market Manager – Horticulture, said “with captan use in grapes destined for the EU not supported at this stage, the imminent approval of Gem® is an exciting development and we hope to be able to demonstrate to as many growers as possible this season what an effective protectant it will be”.

Apart from Gem®, the next closest alternative to captan in terms of cost-effectiveness would be the chlorothalonil based products (e.g. Cavalry® Weatherguard, Bravo® Weatherstik etc.). “Chlorothalonil is a multi-site activity (Group M5) fungicide that offers a similar level of control against Downy Mildew, Botrytis Bunch Rot and Black Spot and can be used out to E-L 29 when berries are peppercorn-size. Unfortunately for grape growers, once again there has been significant pressure on chlorothalonil fungicide supply in 2016 globally and nationally due to demand from chickpea and lentil crops, making it difficult to procure adequate stocks.”

Collins said “Pyrimethanil products (e.g. Predict® 600, Scala® 400) remain powerful tools (Group 9) to control Botrytis bunch rot wherever these fungicides haven’t been overused in the past but may be used no later than 80% capfall in export winegrapes”.
“Likewise, Custodia® offers a practical option where effective Downy Mildew and bunch rot cover is required – as well as outstanding protection from even strobilurin resistant Powdery Mildew – and is registered to control all three of these diseases from pre-flowering through to E-L 29”.

“Solaris® continues to demonstrate how easy it is to apply and how quickly it penetrates vine tissue to protect leaves and fruit ensuring effective control of bunch rot. Moreover, Custodia® and Solaris® have been used together with outstanding results in grapevines and are now a keystone in many growers programs, particularly in the Sunraysia growing district – and especially in table grapes where fruit finish is so important.”

When used in combination, Custodia® and Solaris® give outstanding results and provide a highly effective resistance management option – utilising 3 different modes of action”

If you haven’t included Custodia® and Solaris® in your vine management program for 2016 yet or would like more information on Gem® Fungicide, contact your local Adama Innovation Centre or visit and find out how you can Be Rewarded for being responsible in your resistance management strategy.
Adama always recommend that growers consult with their winery and follow winery guidelines to ensure all necessary criteria are met.

This article first appeared in the Grapegrower & Winemaker magazine.
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