Valent U.S.A. Corporation reports growers, seed conditioners and seed companies across a number of crops will have access to advanced seed protection during 2013 if Environmental Protection Agency approval of a new seed treatment occurs as anticipated.

EPA registration is anticipated for the new ethaboxam fungicide, which will be the key active ingredient in AP3 Fungicide System. AP3 is showing excellent results in a series of private and university research trials, the company reports.

According to Valent Seed Protection Product Development Manager Karen Arthur, "AP3 is consistently delivering exceptionally strong performance against the toughest early-season diseases."

“Planting time can be one of the most erratic and unpredictable periods of the year for growers—from unpredictable weather shifts to uncertain disease presence and pressure to unidentified resistance issues,” Arthur said. “As in the past few seasons of trials, we continue to see extremely consistent and effective results from AP3 even in a variety of uncertain disease presence, pressure, resistance and springtime conditions. Plants protected by AP3 are appearing stronger and healthier while demonstrating greater stands in the spring for improved yield at harvest.”

The new AP3 combination seed protectant brings together ethaboxam, the new novel class of chemistry, in combination with metalaxyl. Studies are showing AP3 is providing systemic and contact protection against oomycete pathogens such as pythium, phytophthora, downy mildew and Aphanomyces spp., including resistant and uncontrolled types.

“As the research continues to unfold, we’re consistently finding that one plus one equals AP3,” Arthur said. “Upon the anticipated registration of ethaboxam, AP3 will deliver multiple MOAs for enhanced seed protection. And, AP3 is showing a broadened spectrum of control across fungal species and secure protection for the seed beyond what is currently commercially available to growers. This makes for a strong equation with strong results, as we’re encouraged from data in current trials that AP3 will far exceed older technologies.”

Marty Robinson, Valent seed protection brand manager, said the anticipated registration of ethaboxam in 2013 will come at a critical time, as growers and seed professionals have been facing even greater resistance pressure in recent seasons, and AP3 field observations indicate continued broadening of the pythium and phytophthora spectrum.

“We’ve seen the use of metalaxyl and mefenoxam increase substantially in recent years within seed treatments as the industry tries to cope with increased pythium and phytophthora pressure,” Robinson said. “Plant pathologists are still researching whether this indicates growing fungicide resistance, the emergence of new disease strains or both.”

Robinson added that it has been more than 30 years since metalaxyl, the most widely used tool for these diseases, was registered.

“Growers and seed professionals urgently need a new and effective tool against these escalating and emerging diseases, many of which evolve even over the course of the season. The currently available products simply are not providing the control these growers need,” Robinson said. “In current trials, AP3 is showing superior protection against the toughest diseases, which will help protect the seed and seedling in both early- and late-planted crops. And, research trials are showing AP3 has no known cross-resistance and offers exceptional seed and crop safety.”

Ethaboxam, the key active ingredient in AP3, is anticipated to be EPA registered on corn, soybeans, cereals, canola and sorghum crops with full seed and crop safety. Until ethaboxam is registered it can only be used by qualified research personnel for research purposes.

AP3 looks to be a game changer for the industry, which is facing increasing disease pressure or resistance and uncertain growing conditions,” Robinson said. This will be the fifth major seed protectant in the Valent portfolio of products.