Off-patent agrochemical manufacturer Certis, a Mitsui company, has launched a straight formulation of the flufenacet herbicide (500g/l) under the Sunfire and System50 brand names.
The product is aimed at arable farmers and their agronomists seeking a herbicide option for controlling resistant blackgrass, although the company strongly recommends that the active is used in tank mixes and sequences with other herbicide chemistry to protect its efficacy. It will be available from this autumn.
"Flufenacet has been available in mixture products for a number of years, however, it has not been available on its own until now," says Certis arable product manager Inez Cornell. "Making flufenacet available as a straight product, Sunfire and System 50, will give growers and advisers more flexibility to create bespoke programmes for each field on the farm. With no new active ingredients on the horizon, Sunfire and System 50 will give growers a brand new tool for the fight against blackgrass."
Blackgrass expert Dr Stephen Moss notes: "Of all the pre-emergence herbicides tested in comparative container studies, flufenacet gave the greatest level of control across all populations of blackgrass; giving 99% control of the highly susceptible standard population, 96% control of the partially resistant population and 88% control in the highly resistant Peldon population.
"It's important to stress the importance of using pre-emergence herbicides, such as Sunfire and System 50, to help compensate for the declining control of post-emergence herbicides due to resistance, as 97% control needs to be achieved to stop blackgrass populations from increasing.
"Control of blackgrass must be approached as an overall strategy, using every tool in the box - rotation, ploughing, delayed drilling, spring cropping and competitive varieties alongside herbicide options.
"The emphasis now must be on a more rational use of pre-em herbicides in combination with non-chemical methods to control blackgrass. Flufenacet, the active ingredient in Sunfire and System 50, should be seen as an essential component of any pre-em programme aimed at controlling resistant blackgrass," he concludes.
Ms Cornell says Certis will be supporting a number of tank mixing options for Sunfire and System 50, which can be applied to winter wheat and winter barley crops up to GS23 or before December 31st in the year of planting.