Ag retail representatives got a close look at the latest offerings from Syngenta for disease and early season insect control on several crops during a recent tour in central Louisiana.

Quilt Xcel, one of the intriguing products generating a lot of buzz, is a new fungicide for corn, grain sorghum and rice. Quilt, a combination of Quadris and Tilt, gets an extra shot of Quadris in the Quilt Xcel formulation. “That increases the residual activity of the fungicide. It gives broad-spectrum disease control. Quilt Xcel is our elite systemic fungicide. Not all fungicides are systemic,” says Eric Tedford, Syngenta technical brand manager.

The new formulation gets into the plant’s vascular system and then moves upward and outward inside it. “Both active ingredients have systemic movement. One is preventive and the other is curative. The curative fungicide stops the spread of the disease so you get extended residual control,” Tedford says.

In tests, Quilt Xcel also resulted in bigger diameter corn stalks, improving quality. “That has big implications in reducing lodging, so it increases harvest efficiency. In corn, we’re seeing a 12 to 14 bushel-per-acre average benefit with Quilt Xcel,” Tedford says. Quilt Xcel is also newly registered for use on grain sorghum, where it has lots of potential, says Josh Zaunbrecher, Syngenta sales representative in south Louisiana.

“We are seeing if we can replicate the Plant Performance benefits in grain sorghum that we’re seeing in corn and rice. It works on diseases like anthracnose, leaf spot and leaf blight. Application on grain sorghum should be at 50 percent bloom, which lets it ride for free with an application for midge. With 10.5 ounces of Quilt Xcel per acre, we’re seeing a five to 10 bushel-per-acre yield increase in grain sorghum with increased test weight, as well,” Zaunbrecher says.

Syngenta sees big benefits with Quilt Xcel in rice, as well. “The extra Quadris gives us the longer residual we need. That’s an added benefit to the return on investment. It’s a little better in how it works on sheath blight. It can be used from a 16 ounce per acre rate all the way to 21 ounces per acre. We’re excited about it. It’s going to be a good brand for us,” says Doug Anderson, Syngenta crop manager for Southern Field Crops.

Another new option from Syngenta Seedcare is CruiserMaxx Rice, an insecticide and fungicide seed treatment combination, which has given about a 14-percent yield increase in tests. Just released this year, it is already used on around 20 percent of Louisiana’s rice and roughly 52 percent of the rice planted in Mississippi, says Jason Mize, Syngenta sales representative for Seedcare brands in Mississippi.

“CruiserMaxx Rice is a game changer on rice. The proof is in the pudding, and that is seed vigor. We have consistently seen a vigor effect with CruiserMaxx Rice. Sales have been good so far. It’s great that Syngenta is a rice company again,” Mize says.

“We’ve been working on CruiserMaxx Rice for a long time. It is the first insecticide-fungicide seed treatment combination in the rice market. Cruiser insecticide is the backbone of the whole thing and gives control against pests like water weevil, cinch bugs and thrips. Then the Dynasty fungicide in the mix is very effective at controlling seed-borne rice blast. We’re seeing significant reduction in the amount of diseases during the early season stage,” says Scott Martin, Syngenta field scientist in Louisiana.

“It is not season-long control, so it should be used in conjunction with a total management program. It does have a real nice vigor effect and results in more uniform stand, which helps in the herbicide program,” Martin says.

CruiserMaxx Beans is also the first insecticide/fungicide combination seed treatment for soybeans, giving early-season protection against insects along with systemic disease control.

“Unbiased university tests show that CruiserMaxx Beans gives a 4.5 bushel-per-acre yield increase on soybeans,” Mize says. “It’s a shotgun approach to piercing insects that can have a long-term detrimental effect throughout the season on soybeans.”

Syngenta also showcased its Avicta Complete brands on soybeans (awaiting EPA registration), cotton and corn. Avicta Complete brands combine Avicta seed treatment nematicide with Cruiser seed treatment insecticide and market-leading seed treatment fungicides. That combination of separately registered products provides triple protection against nematodes, early-season insects and diseases.

“Avicta Complete Corn delivers an Avicta nematicide, Cruiser insecticide, plus an enhanced rate of the three fungicides. It has proven to be a big help in the South, where we’re now seeing more corn-on-corn. Over time, nematodes build up in corn-on-corn fields. We’re seeing an average six bushel-per-acre difference in corn yields with Avicta Complete Corn over time,” Mize says.