Sometimes overlooked in discussions about controlling Asian soybean rust are the Echo brand chlorothalonil products, according to officials with Sipcam Agro USA, Inc. Echo, they said, offers highly effective, very economical soybean rust protection.

Growers have relied on chlorothalonil to protect their crops for nearly 35 years. In fact, chlorothalonil was one of only two fungicide active ingredients registered by EPA for soybean rust control when the disease appeared in the United States last November.

“When something like Asian soybean rust comes along, too many people jump to the conclusion that newer chemistry is better chemistry, and that simply is not true,” said John French, Sipcam Agro USA technical director. “Trusted and time-proven, protectant fungicides like Echo brand chlorothalonil products provide excellent disease control and don't cost as much as newer options that may now be coming to market. Growers who use Echo as an early preventive can continue profitable production without sacrificing quality or yield. That's the beauty of it.

“For maximum effectiveness, chlorothalonil should be applied first at the late vegetative to early reproductive stage (V5 to R1) of soybean crop growth, when conditions are right for disease development. Applying preventively is key,” French said, “because of the rapid cycle time and plant destruction that result from Asian soybean rust infections. This early application approach will provide extended protection in the lower plant canopy, where Asian soybean rust tends to first appear and thereby reduce spore load buildup and re-infection within treated soybean fields.

“On contact, chlorothalonil begins killing fungal spores and germ tubes, thus preventing spore germination and infection of plant tissues.

“Resistance has never been an issue with chlorothalonil, due to the multi-site mode of action that simultaneously inhibits many enzyme systems necessary for fungal disease agents to survive.

“And due to its low water solubility and natural weatherability, the chlorothalonil active ingredient remains physically bonded to the plant where it continues to provide disease protection even with dew, rain or irrigation.