Syngenta Launches Cutting-Edge Solutions for Crop Protection

Syngenta Ornamentals Kenya recently made waves in the floriculture sector with grand events in all five flower growing hubs in Kenya, unveiling their latest innovations: Picatina® Flora 250SC and Mainspring® 200SC. Attended by a diverse audience comprising growers, farmers, agronomists, and key stakeholders in floriculture, the launches highlighted Syngenta’s unwavering commitment to advancing productivity through sustainable innovative solutions.

Event Highlights and Activities
The events featured comprehensive presentations by Syngenta’s technical experts, who provided in-depth insights into the benefits and usage of both products. The detailed presentations emphasized how Picatina® Flora 250SC, a fungicide, and Mainspring® 200SC an insecticide transform disease and pest management in floriculture, promising enhanced crop health and improved marketability of cut flowers.

Interactive sessions formed a significant part of the event, allowing attendees to engage directly with the experts. These sessions provided an excellent platform for participants to ask questions, share their experiences, and discuss the specific challenges they face in their operations. This exchange of knowledge and ideas underscored the collaborative spirit of the event, fostering a sense of community and shared purpose among the attendees.

Expert Insights and Demonstrations
Keynote speakers included the CEOs of Kenya Flower Council, Mr Clement Tulezi, and the CEO of CropLife Kenya Mr. Erick Kimunguyi. Their insights provided valuable context for understanding the significance of Syngenta’s new products in the broader agricultural landscape. Renowned agronomists and industry leaders, discussed the latest trends and challenges in the floriculture industry, highlighting the critical importance of adopting innovative and sustainable crop protection solutions to stay competitive in the global market.

The experts addressed the critical issue of resistance, emphasizing the importance of integrated pest management (IPM) practices, adherence to product labels, understanding product modes of action, and rotating pesticide groups to combat resistance effectively. Boniface Mwanthi of Royal Flora Holland delivered a detailed presentation on Botrytis, underscoring its significance as a major cause of flower rejection by importers and consumers, leading to substantial economic losses in the flower market.

Dr. Mary Guantai of Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) highlighted critical pest challenges such as False Codling Moth (FCM), Thrips, and Caterpillars (Helicoverpa Amigera) during her presentation. These pests pose immense threats to ornamental plants, necessitating integrated pest management (IPM) strategies and effective crop protection solutions like Mainspring insecticide.

Practical demonstrations of Picatina® Flora 250SC and Mainspring® 200SC were aired to show their application processes and effectiveness. These demonstrations offered attendees practical tips on how to integrate these solutions into their pest and disease management routines effectively.

Introduction of Picatina® Flora 250SC
A standout at the event was Picatina® Flora 250SC, a formulation developed exclusively for ornamental plants. Picatina® Flora was introduced as a state-of-the-art solution specifically formulated to control Botrytis in roses, a pervasive fungal disease that can devastate flower quality and yield. Botrytis, often referred to as gray mold, poses a significant challenge to rose growers, necessitating frequent and effective interventions to protect crops. Picatina® Flora 250SC stands out due to its longest-lasting efficacy, providing the best and most durable protection available in the market today. The product’s advanced formulation ensures that the protective effects last longest, reducing the need for frequent applications. This not only cuts down on labor and operational costs but also minimizes the environmental impact associated with repeated pesticide use.

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Picatina® Flora 250SC combines two potent active ingredients:

  • Pydiflumetofen (ADEPIDYN) at 100 g/L, belonging to the chemical group 7-Pyrazole carboxamide (SDHI). The biochemical mode of action of ADEPIDYN involves the inhibition of complex II respiration within the mitochondrial inner membrane, specifically targeting the Succinate Dehydrogenase (SDH) enzyme. By inhibiting the SDH complex, ADEPIDYN prevents energy production in fungal cells, disrupting aerobic cell respiration and ultimately leading to the fungus’s death.
  • Fludioxonil at 150 g/L, categorized under 12-Phenylpyrroles inhibits a protein kinase involved in a regulatory step of fungal cell metabolism. Derived from naturally occurring bacteria, Fludioxonil has been improved for enhanced light stability and biological activity.

Fludioxonil and Pyrrolnitrin: Natural Origins and Benefits
Fludioxonil’s development was inspired by Pyrrolnitrin, a natural antifungal compound produced by Pseudomonas pyrrocinia. Pyrrolnitrin is known for its effectiveness against a wide range of plant pathogenic fungi, although it is highly light-labile. Fludioxonil, an improvement from Pyrrolnitrin, retains the natural compound’s antifungal properties while offering superior light stability and enhanced biological activity.

Mode of Action of Fludioxonil
Fludioxonil acts as a contact fungicide, remaining on the surface of the plant (in the cuticle). Its mode of action involves the inhibition of several critical stages of fungal development:

  • Inhibition of Spore Germination: Prevents the initial phase of fungal infection.
  • Inhibition of Germ Tube Growth: Stops the development of the germ tube that would otherwise penetrate plant tissues.
  • Prevention of Mycelium Penetration: Blocks the growth of the fungal mycelium into the plant.

Fludioxonil acts on the plasma membranes and inhibits the absorption of amino acids, making it a potent protective fungicide effective before the fungus penetrates the plant. Fludioxonil targets spore germination and germ tube growth which are the most sensitive stages of fungal development.

SDHI Sensitivity and Intrinsic Activity
Although SDHI fungicides, like ADEPIDYN, share the same target site, sensitivity to different fungicides within the Fungicide Resistance Action Committee (FRAC) group may vary. This variability means that if resistance is detected for one particular fungicide from the SDHI group, other members may still retain their efficacy. Differences in intrinsic activity between SDHI group members can lead to varying levels of sensitivity among different fungi, allowing for more flexible and effective resistance management strategies.

Picatina Flora Performance vs. Market Standards
Picatina® Flora offers superior performance compared to market standards. It provides the best results when applied at early stages of disease development and has proven effective in protecting flowers against Botrytis. Notably, Picatina Flora demonstrates the longest-lasting activity against Botrytis compared to standard products, reducing the need for frequent applications, and minimizing labor and operational costs.

Effect of Picatina® Flora on Vase Life vs. Market Standards
Picatina Flora® significantly improves the vase life of roses, outperforming market standards. Treated flowers achieved the longest vase life ensuring better marketability and customer satisfaction.

Impact on Beneficial Organisms
Picatina® Flora is classified as harmless to beneficial organisms according to the International Organization for Biological Control (IOBC) classification. This includes beneficial species such as Phytoseiulus persimilis, Amblyseius californicus, Amblyseius swirskii, Amblyseius cucumeris, and Amblyseius andersoni. This classification underscores Picatina Flora’s compatibility with integrated pest management (IPM) practices, ensuring minimal impact on beneficial insects crucial for natural pest control.

Introduction of Mainspring Insecticide
Mainspring® 200SC insecticide, another innovative solution showcased at the events, offers broad-spectrum control against Thrips, False Codling moths (FCM), and caterpillars. These pests are notorious for causing significant damage to ornamental plants, leading to huge economic losses. Mainspring’s versatility and effectiveness make it an invaluable tool in integrated pest management (IPM) programs, offering a reliable solution to farmers striving to protect their crops while adhering to sustainable agricultural practices.

Its active ingredient, cyantraniliprole belongs to Group 28, Ryanodine receptor modulators. This subgroup targets ryanodine receptors involved in muscle and nerve function in insects, effectively disrupting their physiological processes and leading to mortality.

Mainspring®: Mode of Action and Benefits
Cyantraniliprole, as a key ingredient in Mainspring® acts on calcium release channels in insect muscle cells. It modulates calcium release, which is essential for muscle contraction. By controlling calcium release, Cyantraniliprole fades out muscle contractions and closes receptor channels, preventing further muscle activity. This mechanism effectively paralyzes and ultimately kills the targeted insects. Additionally, once calcium is pumped back into storage, the insect remains immobilized until the next electrical pulse, ensuring sustained control over the pest population.

Mainspring acts primarily through ingestion and exhibits slight contact activity. It works rapidly, causing mortality within hours for young larvae and up to a day for older larvae. Importantly, Cyantraniliprole does not show cross-resistance with other molecules in IRAC group 28, making it highly effective against various pest populations. Its excellent fit in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs underscores its role in sustainable pest control practices for ornamental plants.

Impact of Sugar on Thrips Control
Sugar can influence thrips behavior in several ways:

  • Attract and Kill: Sugar additives can attract thrips, making them more susceptible to insecticides designed to eliminate them.
  •  Increased Consumption: Thrips may consume more of the treated area due to sugar attraction, thereby increasing exposure to control agents.
  •  Increased Insect Contact: Sugar can increase thrips’ contact with treated surfaces, enhancing the effectiveness of insecticides.
  •  Increased Uptake in First Cell Layers: Sugars can facilitate the uptake of active ingredients.

Mainspring® 200SC is classified as harmless to beneficial organisms according to the International Organization for Biological Control (IOBC) classification. Its unique formulation ensures:

  • Friendliness to Natural Enemies: Compatible with beneficial organisms, supporting integrated pest management (IPM) practices.
  • Reliability: Halts pest damage within minutes of application, ensuring quick and effective control.
  • Uniqueness: Offers broad-spectrum coverage based on Cyantraniliprole, safeguarding ornamental crops from a diverse range of pests.

Networking and Future Prospects
The events concluded with networking sessions, allowing participants to connect, share ideas, and explore potential collaborations. This networking opportunity was particularly valuable for fostering relationships that could lead to future innovations and advancements in the horticultural sector.

Syngenta reaffirmed its dedication to supporting the floriculture communities within Sub-Saharan Africa by continuously developing and introducing cutting-edge agricultural technologies. The company emphasized its commitment to addressing the evolving needs of the industry through ongoing research and development efforts.

The launch of Picatina®Flora and Mainspring® marks a significant milestone in Syngenta’s efforts to enhance the quality and productivity of ornamental plants in East Africa. By providing effective and sustainable solutions to manage pests and diseases, Syngenta is helping growers and farmers improve their operations, reduce costs, and achieve better outcomes. These events not only showcased Syngenta’s innovative products but also highlighted the company’s role as a leader in the industry, dedicated to advancing agricultural practices and supporting the farming community.