The mild and wet winter weather has provided ideal conditions for the early development of primary scab, the most economically damaging and widespread disease of apples and pears which can affect every part of the plant.
Controlling this primary infection is a priority as poor control can lead to significant crop loss. Targeting primary scab with a fungicide, such as Soraile, is an essential start to an effective control programme.
Soriale is a unique fungicide which has been registered for the control of a moderate infection of leaf scab and a reduction of fruit scab in apples and pears and is a mixer product, says Matthew Goodson of BASF.
Soriale also acts directly on the pathogen in the early growth stages and then it acts indirectly by inducing the plants own natural defence mechanisms. The Potassium phosphonate that is in Soriale has been registered as crop protection product since 2013 and is included in Annex 1, and fully backed by BASF.
Goodson says that the fungicide activates the plant’s natural mechanisms of defence by the production of phytoalexins, explaning that: “It is like triggering the plants own immune system. It is similar to a flu jab found in the human immune system when a virus is introduced into the body and the body develops natural defences against it.
“It ‘tricks’ the plant into thinking it is under attack by plant pathogens, except there are none present. So when a real pathogen attacks the plant, it is already prepared to defend itself.”