A dry formulated harpin protein technology will be used in foliar sprays in corn, soybeans and dry beans with select MANA Crop Protection technologies in the U.S. in 2012.

The Harpin is coming from Plant Health Care (PHC), a provider of naturally derived products to the agriculture industry. PHC announced it signed an agreement with MANA so that the companies will test market combinations of PHC’s Harpin in use with MANA’s Bumper and Incognitoo foliar fungicides.

According to PHC, the program will result in an estimated 3 million acres of soybeans being treated with harpin seed treatment in 2012.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

PHC expressed excitement about the market for fungicides with harpin. The company noted that In 2011, the US-foliar corn fungicide market exceeded $135 million in grower value. More than 80 percent of expenditures were strobilurin-based fungicides, yet the crop protection industry's Fungicide Resistance Action Committee has classified strobilurin fungicides as high risk for developing fungal resistance.

“The use of Harpin protein in combination with non-strobilurin-based fungicides mitigates the development of strobilurin-based fungicide resistance, and represents a new opportunity to be an effective replacement in situations where popular strobilurin-based fungicides may no longer be effective,” according to a news release from PHC.

“In direct comparison across multiple, commercial-scale farm trials that were set-up and managed by the Iowa Soybean Association's On-Farm Network in 2011, a harpin-propiconazole combination produced higher average yields than the market-leading strobilurin-based fungicides. These foliar harpin/fungicide on-farm trials are consistent with 3 years of PHC-managed replicated evaluations in which harpin recorded higher yields and a higher percentage of wins than the non-harpin treated comparison blocks,” the news release went on to claim.

“The three years of field results achieved in corn with harpin plus fungicides led to our test marketing agreement with MANA,” said  John Brady, CEO, PHC, and validates our beliefs that harpin can be used effectively to improve the performance of foliar fungicides in these crops.

It was noted that Makhteshim Agan Industries, MANA's parent company, is the largest manufacturer and seller of post-patent crop protection chemicals in the world and was a natural fit for the companies to work together, especially since MANA has the fungicide thiophanate methyl that appears highly appropriate to test in use  with PHC’s harpin.

"MANA Crop Protection's leading goal is to provide producers with high-value, innovative products that improve their bottom line while encouraging them to adopt technologies that manage resistance," said Keith Miller, MANA's innovation product leader. "We believe PHC's harpin, in combination with proven fungicides like Bumper! or Incognito!, will meet both objectives."

Further PHC harpin information is available at: www.planthealthcare.com.