The fungicide Headline will “set the new standard in foliar disease control,” giving peanut growers control of leafspot of up to 21 days, and offering the “most effective web blotch control of any product on the market,” says Sandy Newell, BASF technical service representative. The BASF product also has activity on soilborne diseases, such as white mold and Rhizoctonia.

BASF anticipates full registration from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) later this year. Headline, which was designated as a reduced-risk candidate, will have labels on peanuts, citrus, wheat, barley, potatoes, dry beans, grasses grown for seed and sugar beets. Cabrio, a dry formulation of the product, will be labeled on tomatoes, cucurbits, onions, carrots, berry crops, strawberries, pistachios and cherries. The company says the large number of registrations will make the fungicide attractive to dealers and growers.

BASF, based in Research Triangle, N.C., held a field day in Windsor to introduce the fungicide to growers and the industry.

Product chemistry

A strobilurin fungicide, Headline is in the same family of chemistry as Abound, says Newell. “But there's as much difference between Headline and Abound as there is between Folicur and Tilt, which are both sterol inhibitors.”

Headline will be the broadest spectrum foliar fungicide on the market, Newell says. It's recommended for use at very low rates.

In the case of Headline, the fungicide will be recommended for use back-to-back as the first two foliar disease control applications of the season, Newell says. There are two labeled rates for Headline: Lower for foliar and slightly higher for soilborne diseases.

For foliar diseases such as leafspot, the recommended rate is six ounces to nine ounces per acre. “The thing special about that is the amount of control the grower gets over foliar diseases,” says Steve Broscious, BASF technical market manager.

Extends spray intervals

For leafspot control, Headline can help extend the amount of time between sprays, Newell says. “Peanut farmers can wait as much as three weeks between sprays as opposed to 10- to 14-day intervals with other fungicides. That could mean one less trip over the field and give him more flexibility if rain prevents him from getting back into the field on time to make an application.

“If he can't get back into the field and it's 17 days since the previous application, then he still has the ability to maintain control of foliar diseases with Headline,” Newell says.

“We'd like to see growers substitute Headline for their current product in the first two sprays of the season, and try it in the next year in their peanut fields,” Broscious says.

For growers in the Virginia-Carolina region, Headline gives a “good, consistent control level of web blotch.” It brings a “new dimension to foliar disease control that folks haven't had before,” Newell says. “It raises the bar in foliar disease control.”

Jack Bailey, North Carolina State University Extension plant pathologist, says, “Headline will be an effective material and a good addition to web blotch control.”

On the soilborne-disease front, Headline offers 30 percent to 50 percent control of Sclerotinia blight. “That's not up there with Omega, but certainly better than a lot of products now on the market,” Newell says. For soilborne diseases such as white mold and Rhizoctonia, Headline is labeled at nine ounces to 15 ounces per acre.

“The peanut farmer won't use Headline mid-season for Sclerotinia,” Newell says. “Headline can be used early as a set-up material. Headline does have activity on Sclerotinia, but it's not a stand-alone treatment. It doesn't flare outbreaks of Sclerotinia.”

BASF is continuing to study Headline's efficacy on Sclerotinia blight. Meanwhile, BASF currently has a Sclerotinia product in the pipeline, which controls the soilborne disease as well as foliar diseases.