Aaron and Harmeet Singh, blueberry growers-turned-rural merchandisers on the NSW north coast, have steadily built a clientele based upon the trusted recommendation of quality products with proven results.

Harmeet, known as Harry to many in the Woolgoolga area, established HSB Rural in 2019 with son Aaron being the merchandise manager. The latter having a keen passion for new products with a strong return on grower investment.

Both members of the OZ Group, a marketing co-operative with over 200 members, Aaron said he and his father understand the importance of maintaining the highest standards in blueberry production.

“In our area there’s no telling what the weather will do. It could be sunny for two weeks and then rain for a week straight – even our heavy dews of a morning can be a challenge with botrytis [grey mould],” Aaron said.

“Having a quality protectant fungicide in place is a necessity, that’s why having MIRAVIS® Prime [fungicide] available to us is so important.”

MIRAVIS® Prime fungicide from Syngenta combines proven fludioxonil (Group 12) and the new pydiflumetofen (Group 7), attacking fungi at four development stages, in different parts of the plant.

Fludioxonil works as a protectant on the surface of the leaf, while pydiflumetofen moves very quickly into the waxy cuticle binding strongly to the plant, with slow absorption into the tissues giving long lasting protection.

Registered for both field and protected cropping in berries, MIRAVIS® Prime halts spore germination and kills fungus by entering the mitochondria – disrupting the pathogen’s energy source.

Blueberries are a major crop in the area, Aaron pointing to an estimated industry worth exceeding $250 million annually, predominantly field grown under netting. One of the more popular blueberry varieties is Eureeka, grown under contract to Mountain Blue, in-turn supplying supermarkets nationally. Raspberries and blackberries are also grown in the wider Coffs Harbour area under tunnels. MIRAVIS® Prime is registered for all berry crops, unlike other fungicides only registered for strawberries.

Withholding periods and sound application practices are points Aaron said he works carefully on with his community of customers, many sharing their Indian heritage.

“About 85 to 90% of growers in this region are from this same background, so speaking the dialect and being able to explain how to use products like MIRAVIS(R) Prime, and the results we achieved on our farm, there’s a lot of trust,” he said.

Aaron said there had been 6 or 7 fungicides, which growers had typically been using, with increasing frequency.

“The way the seasons were going and the pressure we were seeing, growers had to decrease the interval to seven days,” he said.

“With MIRAVIS® Prime [fungicide], they’ve been able to extend that interval. They’re also saving money because they’re not having to mix two fungicides to achieve what they want.”

The label for MIRAVIS® Prime allows for up to two applications in a growing season, and a rate range for the control of grey mould in berries (Botrytis cinerea) and powdery mildew (strawberries only). The protectant fungicide can be applied at 750mL/ha, up to 1000mL/ha under during high pressure periods or for longer residual control.

Aaron said he and his customers had seen excellent residual control when applied at flowering but noted MIRAVIS® Prime fungicide also had an excellent fit near to harvest; the one-day withholding period being particularly helpful for his customers.

“We do a lot of education when they come through our doors, we give them registered options for their specific crop, the spray restrictions and the withholding periods,” he said.

“The one-day withholding period is huge selling point, it’s a real surprise for them.”

The use of all Group 7s is subject to a CropLife Australia Fungicide Resistance Management strategy, with no more than three applications of a Group 7 to be used per crop. Visit croplife.org.au for the full strategy including use patterns.

For more information about MIRAVIS® Prime speak to your local Syngenta representative.



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