During the ongoing Commodity Classic in Tampa, Fla., BASF unveiled three new fungicide products that are targeted for release in 2012 and could provide new tools for Southeastern growers on a wide range of crops.

The new products are Merivon, targeted for fruits and specialty crops; Priaxor, targeted for row crops and Systiva, a seed treatment. Each contains the new BASF chemistry — Xemium.

In unveiling the new products, BASF Director of U.S. Crops Paul Rea stressed that these products are under review by the Environmental Protection Agency in the U.S. and by comparable regulatory agencies worldwide and won’t be available to growers until 2012.

Rea says fungicide treated acres have increased globally by 50 percent over the past five years and the release of the Xemium line of products will add significantly to the arsenal available to growers. Adding another mode of action fits well, he adds, with the ongoing challenge to manage pesticide resistance.

BASF, Rea says, is committed to developing new agricultural products. The highly diversified company spends roughly 25 percent of its research and development budget on agriculture. Rea notes that bringing the Xemium products to market will be a nearly 10-year and $276 million investment by BASF.

Xemium is a carboxamide-based product, which has a significantly different mode of action than the triazole and strobilurin line of fungicides currently available to growers. Xemium moves both up and down on the leaf surface providing both longer lasting and more complete coverage to protect the target plant. The company contends in global testing these new Xemium products have better curative activity on most crops than triazoles and better protective activity than strobilurin fungicides.

Both Merivon and Priaxor will contain varying amounts of the company’s strobilurin-based F500 chemistry, which is the active ingredient in Headline. Merivon will be a 1:1 ratio of F500 and Xemium and Priaxor will be a 2:1 ratio of F500 to Xemium.

Systiva is a seed treatment product that will be targeted in the U.S. on peanuts, cotton, soybeans and selected other row crops. In U.S. tests, Systiva-treaed soybean seeds produced an average of 7 percent more soybean plants than untreated plots.

Xemium was submitted in the U.S. to the EPA in the first quarter of 2010. BASF says the product is on track to be labeled for the 2012 crop season.