Novel formulation for cereal farmers

Novel formulation for cereal farmers

A UK firm claims its microencapsulated fungicide performs better than the standard treatment at killing a fungus posing a significant threat to cereal farmers. Researchers at the University of Nottingham, UK, were funded by UK-based company Micap to test the company’s microencapsulated tebuconazole formulation on ear blight fungus Fusarium.

The company compared the results using its formulation with the results using the standard tebuconazole formulation and found that its own encapsulated version performed well against the standard. In mature plants with infected wheat ears, the Micap formulation was more effective than the standard product and this resulted in an increased grain yield.

In addition, there was a substantial reduction in the Fusarium levels in grain from Micap-treated plants, which the company suggests is due to the sustained release nature of the microencapsulated fungicide. The company believes that this property means the product has the potential to control grain contamination to levels below 0.75ppm: the target the European Union is currently reviewing.

Micap’s encapsulation process uses killed yeast cells as capsules to encapsulate the active ingredient, tebuconazole. Using yeast to encapsulate the active ingredient protects it from high temperatures, effects of the sun, pressure and degradation by the air.

Micap says it is in discussion with a ’major multinational’ regarding field trials of the microencapsulated tebuconazole. Other trials of different azole fungicides using Micap’s encapsulation technology are ongoing.

Steve Rossall, senior lecturer in plant pathology at the University of Nottingham, said: ’The results produced by the Micap technology in the Fusarium study were very promising, particularly since the formulation of the Micap product had not been optimised.’

Fiona Salvage