Ongoing R&D helps stop post-harvest diseases

Oct. 25, 2021 | 5 Min read
New post harvest solution for mango.

All of us in the industry have a special appreciation for what ends up on the kitchen bench, and the story behind the oval fruit labels proudly adorning them.

Growers will experience this more acutely than most. Growers of tropical tree crops understand what goes into delivering a quality product to market, from planning to the concerted effort to get the crop to the point of harvest, says Syngenta technical services lead, Dr Shaun Hood.

“At the start of the season, they’ve diligently taken care of the tree architecture to make sure that the foliar pesticide applications can reach the target and do their job. Weeds will have been managed throughout the season, and fertiliser applications timed to precision with the irrigation schedule, to maximise the crop’s yield potential.

“Their advisors are equally dedicated to helping achieve a great harvest and have people enjoy the fruit.

Dr Hood said Syngenta has spent a lot of time in packhouses with growers, with a keen interest in helping achieve lasting protection against post-harvest diseases. Post-harvest care was often a case of ‘no news being good news’ for growers.

“When we introduced Scholar fungicide, it was a game changer in its effectiveness against rots and it quickly became the industry standard for good reason. Our continued work in packhouses, following the fruit through to table ripeness, continues to remind us just how effective Scholar fungicide is.

“You might know Scholar fungicide as its active ingredient fludioxonil. It really is a case of Scholar fungicide being more than the sum of its ingredients, it’s the countless hours spent in the lab and the field devoted to helping solve on-farm challenges,” Dr Hood said. “Or the fruit bowl as the case might be.

“We at Syngenta are fortunate to be a part of this industry and take great enjoyment in being among a handful of companies that are truly devoted to the discovery of new molecules, which become the latest fungicide innovations.

“Syngenta is continuing its work in the field of post-harvest disease control options for Australian fruit growers. It is a very slow process, over multiple seasons as we have to evaluate efficacy and ensure that we can confidently stand by our product claims.

“This isn’t an easy task when one considers that every packhouse and the equipment in use tends to be very different. We also have to evaluate crop safety to make sure the treatments will not damage the fruit and most importantly, we have to conduct highly regulated residue studies so that maximum residue limits (MRLs) and import tolerances can be established.

“In recent years Syngenta has brought two new post-harvest fungicides to market, and unless you oversee these crops you might not know they exist,” Dr Hood said.

“Avocado growers will be familiar with Graduate A+, it’s a unique co-formulation that contains both fludioxonil (Group 12) and azoxystrobin (Group 11), which helps with resistance management in the packing shed. Together these different modes of action (MoA) offer the industry a solution with broad spectrum robust activity against the pathogens that cause side rot and stem end rot.

“Citrus growers also have a new post-harvest solution in Chairman, it too is a co-formulation, this time propiconazole (Group 3) has been matched with fludioxonil (Group 12). This combination delivers exceptional control of blue mould, green mould and sour rot, all of which are major post-harvest diseases that can potentially destroy a citrus shipment.

“Syngenta is currently working on label extensions for some of our existing post-harvest fungicides creating new solutions for a wide range of tropical fruit. We’ll let you know more when we get closer to registration,” Dr Hood said.

“At Syngenta we are committed to developing post-harvest solutions for the Australian fruit industry and we value your commitment in supporting our products Scholar fungicide, Graduate A+ and Chairman.”

Categories Mangoes Post harvest

Read also

View all

‘Taste the Sunshine’ campaign wins award

Technology advances in the mango industry

Mango box that transformed Australia's horticulture industry