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Velum Prime (fluopyram) is the nematicide that represents a flexible approach to managing potato cyst nematode (PCN) populations while giving the grower the freedom to develop an integrated approach that fits their situation.

Whether you apply it in-furrow or by broadcast spray, on its own or in sequence with a granule as part of a programme, or in low- or high-pressure situations, Velum Prime brings freedom and flexibility to protecting crops from the damaging effects of soil dwelling nematodes. 

A true nematicide containing fluopyram, Velum Prime delivers a new mode of action that makes it well-suited to a range of situations. It is unique in offering more than one method of application and an unprecedently low application rate compared with granular alternatives.

Here are three ways to get the best from this innovative new solution.

1. Sample first

Accurate testing and analysis is the foundation of good PCN control. Sampling and testing not only shows if PCN is present, but also what species is present in the soil. This information, coupled with that of the resistance/tolerance of the varieties available to grow, is vital for the effective management of PCN. The information you request from the laboratory, and what you do with the results will vary depending on what situation the field is in, for example, are you trying to detect an early-stage infestation or an established one?

The AHDB has produced an excellent guide to sampling and analysis.

2. Choose your programme

PCN is a complicated pest. As well as the initial population count other factors such as variety, soil type and field/farm history all contribute to what could be described as PCN pressure in a particular field. All these factors will need to be considered when making an informed judgement on treatment options.

In higher pressure situations, a conventional nematicide applied at full-rate typically produces a greater yield response than that of Velum Prime applied on its own.

In such situations, the advice is to apply Velum Prime at the full rate in sequence with a granular nematicide at half-rate. In our trials, the programme has been robust, consistent and, on average, at least as effective as full rate granules used alone for yield protection.

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Use of Velum Prime alone should be considered in lower pressure situations. In trials where soil testing indicated PCN pressure to be at the lower end of the spectrum, Velum Prime has provided yield protection in line with existing standards and population management better than that seen with a granule.

Velum Prime typically costs around half that of granular nematicides, making both the programme and its use alone cost effective compared with granules.

3. Follow application guidelines

Velum Prime is unique in being the only nematicide that can be applied in-furrow at the time of planting or by broadcast spray up to 72-hours before incorporation.

For both methods, the application rate is 0.625 L/ha though the water volume to be applied depends on the application method.

Where Velum Prime is applied as a broadcast spray it must be no more than 72-hours before planting and at a water rate of 200-500 litres per hectare. It must then be incorporated to a depth of 10-20 centimetres.

The broadcast spray can be applied via a conventional boom sprayer or from an application system mounted to the same tractor as the tilling machine. It must be applied to the whole field ahead of cultivations or bed tilling.

Alternatively, Velum Prime can be applied as an in-furrow spray in 200-500 litres of water per hectare using on-planter application technology.  It is important to direct spray into the planting furrow and not onto the seed tuber. Application should be made using two nozzles per row; one at the front of the planting share and directed down into the furrow and the second at the rear of the share and directed so to spray the soil as it closes around the planted furrow.  

A typical set up is to apply using two nozzles per row: one at the front of the planting share and directed down into the furrow with the second at the rear of the share and directed so to spray the soil as it closes around the planted furrow.

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