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The potato is a crop of remarkable versatility. It is both a rich source of vitamins and minerals that can be served in a multitude of ways with nearly every dish and a useful industrial starch with applications spanning pharmaceuticals to textiles to oil extraction.

For growers across Europe, it is a valuable source of income and for Bayer it is a priority area of focus. As Europe’s biggest investor in new product research and development, Bayer is committed to creating innovative solutions that allow growers to manage the pests and diseases threatening their crops while protecting their livelihoods.

Bringing these innovations to market is fraught with hurdles. The regulatory system is evolving from a system that considered synthetic compounds, often with only a single mode of action, to one that supports natural compounds that deliver multiple pathways to protection. Adapting to this new regime will require a change in how we approach crop protection.

The type of threats we face is evolving too. A warming climate means pests and diseases are spreading further and leaving crops under pressure for longer. Ensuring crops remain protected during this extended period will require a broader range of responses than we are used to, but also new techniques and technologies in application.

From seed treatment through to weed, pests and disease control Bayer has a long and proud history of delivering crop protection products that set the standard.  In Emerger (aclonifen) we have a broadleaved weed herbicide that has quickly gained the respect of growers to set the new benchmark for residual performance.

The new foliar fungicide Caligula (fluopyram + prothioconazole) has demonstrated a level of protection against early blight (Alternaria spp.) that is set to secure it one of the highest ratings of any product on the Euroblight league table. News of a product with strong activity against early blight will be welcomed by growers given the few proven alternatives. 

The late blight fungicide Infinito (propamocarb + fluopicolide) continues to be the standard for tuber blight control and is the only product available to combine active substances from two different modes of action for in-built resistance management.

The nematicide Velum Prime (fluopyram) has made PCN management easier and less onerous to deliver. The recent authorisation for application by broadcast spray means growers have an alternative means of application in addition to in-furrow spray at the time of planting and can choose which ever method best fits their machinery and labour profile without fear of compromising efficacy.

Despite the unfortunate withdrawal of seed treatments such as Monceren (pencycuron) and Emesto Prime (penflufen), we are working hard to bring a biological alternative to market. We hope to bring you news on this product soon.

Similarly, we know virus is arguably one of the greatest threats to crop performance following the withdrawal of the insecticide Biscaya (thiacloprid) in 2020, but in Movento (spirotetramat) we have an effective alternative.  Just as with tuber diseases, we are working on new insecticides and, regulatory approval permitting, hope to be able to bring you news on this soon.

As always, we are here to support you, not only by continually bringing through innovative new products, but through our expert team and trusted advice. We will keep you one-step-ahead for potato growing success.

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