.
April 2011

Serenade® ASO Soft Fruit Review

The increasing use of Serenade® ASO on soft fruit crops has seen a dramatic increase in the control levels of Botrytis as well as a reduction in the chemical loading of existing fungicides on soft fruit in the UK and Eire.

As the demand by supermarkets for growers to minimise the residue levels on fruit intensifies then the uptake and use of Serenade ASO as part of an overall residue reduction strategy has risen substantially and its inclusion in disease programmes have been supported widely with field agronomists throughout the UK.

John Marcar from Berry Gardens Growers Ltd considers that as interest in reduced residue crop production increases then Serenade ASO will continue to be a key product to growers.

Serenade® ASO has become part of the mainstay Botrytis control programme available to soft fruit growers not only due to its positive environmental profile, but also due to its excellent field performance that growers are experiencing when using the product.

Its use in spray programmes has meant that a more robust Botrytis programme is now available to growers along with the advantage of residue reduction. Tank mixes with potassium bicarbonate to counter powdery mildew are widespread. Everbearer Crops have benefited greatly from the use of Serenade ASO on a 7 day programme, which has reduced the incidence of Botrytis. This potential increase in yield, growers find reassuring, and therefore have been encouraged to apply repeat applications of Serenade ASO onto the crop to achieve better levels of control on Botrytis with a short harvest interval.

Everbearer crops, according to John, have benefited greatly from the use of Serenade ASO on a 7 day spray basis which has increased the numbers of marketable fruit. These increases in yield, growers find reassuring and therefore they have been encouraged to apply repeat applications of Serenade ASO onto the crop to achieve better levels of control on Botrytis and at the same time having no residue issues.

John expects late season raspberry growers in 2011 to be a growing market for Serenade ASO as existing fungicidal options are limited.

Jonathan Blackman of H. L. Hutchinson is recommending the use of Serenade ASO alongside existing chemical options in everbearer crops. “The powdery mildew activity of Serenade ASO is an added bonus and tank mixes with potassium bicarbonate are worth considering due to the synergistic effect that the combination provides. Efficacy on Botrytis is well up there compared to other products on the market”.

The increasing shift to tabletop systems as growers intensify their production in 2011 will be reliant on Serenade ASO application

Tom Deards of Berry Gardens, a big fan of Serenade ASO, recommends it in all his spray programmes tank mixed with complimentary products to achieve the results required. Tom believes the robustness of a control programme will be only as good as the sum of components and feels that it is folly to rely too much on any one chemical product.

Dennis Wilson of DLV Plant UK Ltd is also a promoter of Serenade ASO.

Dennis comments “I feel that Serenade ASO is having a useful suppressive effect against Mucor and Rhizopus and the incidence in treated crops was noticeably lower. We seem to have observed a useful suppression of Downy Mildew by adding Serenade ASO to the normal Copper HortiPhyte sprays used on Blackberries, although it is a little early to tell how good the product will be on this very serious disease in high pressure situations”.

Dennis stated that he is a fan of the product and will be incorporating Serenade ASO into his disease control programmes on a wide range of soft fruit crops as a useful short harvest interval, residue-free, broad spectrum product.

Martin Howells of UAP predicts increased use of Serenade ASO into 2011 as the confidence in the product grows. He feels that Serenade ASO is now mainstay for Botrytis in soft fruit for many growers. The zero harvest interval and zero chemical residues are the main drivers.

Trelawney Greaves – Berry Gardens Scotland, feels that due to the predominance of June bearer crops in Scotland the use of Serenade ASO has been at a lower level than the rest of the UK. However, he predicts that the trust in the product will grow in 2011 to be increasingly used on ever bearer crops with the June bearers coming on board as well.

This follows the trend in 2010 where June bearer growers expanded the use of Serenade ASO for the first time.

Serenade® ASO is a suspension concentrate containing 13.96 g/l Bacillus subtilis strain QST 713 (a minimum of 1.042 x 1012 cfu/l). | Serenade is a trade mark of Agraquest