CROP PROTECTION companies continue to develop novel products to help farmers control the threats to their corn and soybean yields. Here are new herbicides, fungicides and seed protection products for this year's growing season.

BASF

BASF introduces a new active ingredient, Kixor herbicide technology, which will be available in several new formulations this year. According to BASF, the chemistry in Kixor inhibits a key step in chlorophyll biosynthesis, which results in fast, effective control of broadleaf weeds. The company says that Kixor is labeled for use on a wide range of crops, provides broad-spectrum control on more than 70 broadleaf weeds, and is the only herbicide technology in the pyrimidinedione class of chemistry available in the North American market.

Sharpen herbicide, which includes the new Kixor herbicide technology, can be applied prior to planting corn, small grains, grain sorghum and soybeans to control emerged broadleaf weeds. Sharpen is particularly effective on lambsquarters, giant ragweed, and marestail, including those biotypes resistant to glyphosate, acetolactate synthase (ALS) inhibitors and triazine.

OpTill herbicide combines Kixor herbicide technology and Pursuit (imazethapyr) offering burndown plus residual weed control in soybeans when applied preplant through preemergence. OpTill's fast burndown and residual weed control allow better timing for in-crop glyphosate applications.

Integrity herbicide combines Kixor herbicide technology with Outlook (dimethenamid) for preplant or preemergence control of annual broad-leaf and grass weed species in corn. It provides ease of handing with a low use rate for burndown and residual control in one product.

Headline AMP fungicide has received full registration from the EPA and will be available to growers this year. Headline AMP combines the active ingredient in Headline fungicide with a unique triazole. BASF describes the product as being a broad-spectrum fungicide that provides improved plant health and protection from major foliar corn diseases, including anthracnose, grey leaf spot, northern corn leaf blight, southern corn rust and eyespot.

DuPont

Prequel is a new corn herbicide premix that contains the active ingredients of Resolve (rimsulfuron) and Balance Pro (isoxaflutole). Prequel may be applied from up to 21 days before corn planting until prior to corn emergence. Preplant applications of up to 30 days are allowed when used in a planned sequential application program. Prequel provides contact plus residual grass and broadleaf control in conventional and herbicide-resistant corn programs. Its multiple modes of action give more consistent early season control of weeds, including ragweed and pigweed. The company recommends using Prequel preemergence, followed by a postemergence application of Resolve Q herbicide to ensure season-long weed control in corn.

Monsanto

Monsanto first introduced Acceleron seed treatment last year for the Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans. Now the company is bringing its Acceleron products to corn producers and improving them for soybeans.

Acceleron corn seed treatment products have an exclusive fungicide combination of ipconazole, metalaxyl and trifloxystrobin for protection against early season soilborne and seedborne diseases. The insecticide clothianidin helps reduce damage caused by secondary pests, including wireworm, corn leaf aphid, seed corn maggot and white grub.

The Acceleron treatment will be standard with the new Genuity SmartStax corn hybrids in 2010. Monsanto expects 3 million to 4 million acres of Genuity SmartStax hybrids to be planted this year.

Monsanto says its Acceleron soybean seed treatment products have an exclusive plant health agent to improve early plant growth and vigor. A fungicide combination featuring pyraclostrobin and metalaxyl provides control of seedborne and soilborne diseases, including those caused by Pythium, Fusarium, Phytophthora and Rhizoctonia. The addition of imidacloprid provides protection against damage caused by early season insect pests, including aphids and bean leaf beetles.

Syngenta

Avicta Complete Corn seed treatment provides protection against nematodes, early season insects and seedborne and soilborne diseases. It combines an increased rate of Cruiser seed treatment insecticide and Apron XL, Maxim XL and Dynasty fungicides, with Avicta, the first seed treatment nematicide for use on corn.

Quilt Xcel is a new systemic fungicide for corn that uses two active ingredients for curative and preventive disease control. It contains an increased level of azoxystrobin for broader spectrum disease control and optimized plant performance.

Callisto Xtra is a premix of Callisto (mesotrione) herbicide and atrazine to provide postemergence weed control in corn. It can be tank mixed with glyphosate for use in glyphosate-resistant corn hybrids. Syngenta expects to receive product registration in the first quarter of 2010.

Bayer CropScience

Capreno is a combination of the active ingredient in Laudis (tembotrione) with a new ALS-inhibiting herbicide (thiencarbazone-methyl) to improve control of grasses, including fall panicum and foxtails. It can be applied postemergence to corn from the V1 through V5 growth stages. It is formulated with a safener to reduce the potential for adverse crop response. Capreno provides season-long residual control of grass and broadleaf weeds. Capreno will have a limited launch in 2010 and a full launch in 2011.

Amvac

SmartChoice 5G soil insecticide from Amvac Chemical Corporation is the first new granular soil insecticide for corn launched since 1996. It combines chlorethoxyfos, an organophosphate, and bifenthrin, a pyrethroid. Amvac says SmartChoice has excellent performance on corn rootworms as well as secondary pests, such as wireworms, grubs and seedcorn maggots.

SmartChoice 5G is packaged in 50-lb. containers for application with Amvac's patented SmartBox closed handling and application system. Amvac expects registration for SmartChoice 5G prior to the 2010 planting season.

Valent

Valent will launch its Inovate system — a seed-applied insecticide/fungicide combination for soybeans. Inovate contains clothianidin insecticide (the company expects registration for soybeans in late 2009), plus a custom combination of ipconazole and metalaxyl fungicides (Rancona Xxtra) from Chemtura Corporation. These three active ingredients guard against diseases and insects throughout critical developmental stages.

Inovate features Valent's Lock Tight proprietary technology, which includes a built-in polymer system and other ingredients to reduce dust, residue and bridging in seed-treating equipment and during the planting process.

Belay is a clothianidin-based insecticide for use as a foliar treatment for aphids, stink bugs and other pests in soybeans. The product is designed to combat late-season pests. Valent expects Belay to receive registration in time for the 2010 planting season.