A promising debut season for Belanty in Stanthorpe
They’re pretty good judges of the best way to grow healthy, appetising apples in Stanthorpe, in Queensland’s southern downs.
After all, it’s home to the annual Apple and Grape Harvest Festival. So when one of the local agronomic gurus recommends a product he’s never seen in action to dozens of valued clients who trust his judgment, you know it must have a lot going for it.
Once BASF’s innovative fungicide Belanty® became available for use in apples, Andrew Hennoste – the agronomist and brand manager at the local Elders store – was never going to hesitate.
“I recommended it to pretty well all our customers,” he said. “I don’t muck around.”
Belanty is registered for black spot and a preventive spray, generally at early blossoming. Belanty can be used at spurburst and once or twice more later in the season, depending on whether any other Group 3 fungicides are in the program.
As Mr Hennoste pointed out, it’s a crowded market and spray timetable, so every fungicide in the rotation has to earn its spot. especially at the most important timing.
“Apples are pretty high fungicide crops from September, October right through to harvest,” he explained.
“The most critical time is that early period four to six weeks after they come out of dormancy.”
Last season Mr Hennoste recommended using Belanty in the early black spot window, and it paid off.
“Everyone who’s used it is happy the results,” he said.
“No complaints at all. We got good results, with good disease control. And it’s always great to have a new molecule in the program.
“Black spot can show up even in relatively dry years. We had a season that started off pretty dry, but then we had some rain and the disease pressure got higher.”
Obviously its ability to control black spot is the number one reason Mr Hennoste put his faith in Belanty, and adding novel chemistry to the rotation is important too. He also cites the product’s excellent compatibility and cost-effectiveness as strong selling points.
Encouraging so many growers to try Belanty for the first time still seems like a bold move and says a lot about Mr Hennoste’s confidence in the BASF team and their products.
“I wasn’t involved in the trials for Belanty, but I’d spoken to BASF about it at the time,” he said.
‘They’ve always had good products; we’ve never had any issues. And I’d seen enough information about Belanty to know it would work.”
Mr Hennoste’s customers used hundred of litres of Belanty in this first season, but he says that’s just the start.
“The uptake will increase as we get more experience with it. It has a good fit in our program.”
So does Mr Hennoste think Belanty will become a standard part of the local growers’ programs? “Definitely.”
Article written by BASF for Seasons magazine.
Belanty is available now from your local Elders branch.