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Fargro launches new generation biofungicide to control foliar fungal disease

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Fargro Ltd have announced the UK launch of Romeo, an innovative biofungicide which will help growers control a range of foliar fungal diseases including powdery and downy mildew and Botrytis.

Marketed exclusively by Fargro, the launch of Romeo is a major development for the UK horticulture industry and is an excellent addition to any integrated pest management programme.

With proven efficacy on a range of foliar fungal disease, Romeo contains the active ingredient Cerevisane, a purified extract of the yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae Strain LAS117. This active ingredient in Romeo induces internal preventative plant defence mechanisms against key foliar fungal diseases on a range of crops with no direct effect on plant pathogens. It does this by actively mimicking a microbial attack activating a signalling cascade, which then stimulates the production of phytoalexins strengthening the cell wall and leaf cuticle.

Manufactured by Agrauxine Lesaffre Plant Care, Romeo is proven to control Botrytis on aubergine, strawberry and tomato; powdery mildew on cucumber and other named cucurbits and downy mildew on lettuce.

These foliar fungal diseases can cause significant damage to a crop, damaging plant growth by significantly reducing the photosynthetic potential of the plant. Over time this reduction in photosynthesis will weaken the plant, effecting yield and potentially leading to death.

Dr Joshua Burnstone, Technical Director, Fargro commented: “Romeo is an innovative and effective biopesticide and an excellent addition to an integrated pest management programme. Within an IPM programme Romeo can help manage resistance, increase the time between applications in a spray programme and reduce the build-up of residues in a crop.”

“I am excited that Fargro is now able to offer this ground-breaking product for the first time to UK growers. The last few years have seen a reduction in the availability of plant protection products in many key edible crops, and it is great to be able to bring new solutions to the table.”

Romeo acts preventatively, by preparing the plant to defend itself against a fungal attack so must be applied before the risk of disease appearance with application every 7-10 days. The first application may be made at BBCH12 (two true leaf stage with leaves unfolded) to BBCH 89 (beginning of fruit abscission stage) and is effective after 1 day. The product can be used in organic systems and it leaves no chemical residues.

Growers interested in further product information and to discuss how to include Romeo as part of their IPM programme should contact Fargro by calling 01903 721591 or email info@fargro.co.uk.

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