Thinking forward

Fungicide Disease Planner Bayer Crop Science NZ

Fungicides are precious. They play a critical part in delivering high quality, profitable yields. But they are under threat.

We have so few types of fungicides available for use on arable crops, especially in New Zealand. The risk that a fungicide group will quickly become ineffective due to fungi becoming resistant is very real.

We have to protect what we have.

In this tool we can only give a few pointers to managing fungicides responsibly but Bayer has produced a simple booklet called “a guide to fungicide resistance” which can be downloaded from

This tool was released to coincide with a visit to NZ by Andreas Mehl, Bayer’s leading fungicide resistance expert.

In 2016, Andreas gave us a week out of his busy schedule, to educate the NZ market about responsible fungicide use and the threat of fungicide resistance. This illustrates the importance Bayer places on responsible fungicide use.

6 key factors to protect arable fungicides

6 key factors to protect arable fungicide

  1. Practice good farm husbandry by removing debris from the previous crop and maintaining good crop rotations.
  2. Choose cultivars carefully. The natural resistance to disease by some cultivars can reduce the reliance on fungicides.
  3. Understand the impact of agronomy factors on disease development and mitigate where practicable, for example seed rate, planting date, canopy density and nitrogen rates.
  4. Use fungicides preventively to inhibit disease becoming established. Disease control is easier, more effective and often costs less this way.
  5. Apply the correct label rate using a correctly calibrated sprayer. Improve the opportunity for fungicides to work effectively.
  6. Use fungicides with different modes of action. Both in your fungicide programmes, but especially in each individual fungicide application.
Bayer World Record Arable Crops

World record crops

How do two Guinness world yield records, Bayer’s current fungicide products and the best fungicide Bayer has ever developed fit together?

Before we explain, Bayer would like to congratulate Warren and Joy Darling and Eric and Maxine Watson on their tremendous achievements, gaining Guinness world yield records for barley and wheat respectively.

Warren Darling:
Guinness World Record Barley Yield 13.8 t/ha

Eric and Maxine Watson:
Guinness World Record Wheat Yield 16.79 t/ha

News travels at lightning speed today and in both cases the world was quick to appreciate the skills of NZ arable farmers. This brings tremendous benefits to New Zealand farming.

In 2015, when Warren Darling achieved his Guinness world record for the highest barley yield, word travelled quickly around the world. The fact that a New Zealand farmer had claimed the barley world yield record and that Bayer had provided the disease control programme reached the very top of Bayer Crop Science.

The result: Bayer NZ was allowed to begin development on a brand new fungicide that lifts the bar in terms of disease control, physiological effects and yield. In fact, New Zealand was asked to register the product so that many countries could benefit from our registration. Of even greater importance is that in 2019, NZ farmers are likely to be the first in the world to access this exciting development.

Working alongside Eric and Maxine, Bayer and Yara played a strong supporting role with their world record attempt. It was a privilege to be a part of this. The Bayer team not only had a lot of fun but they learnt so much; keeping up with the requirements of Guinness was a massive, exhausting task in itself but well worth the effort. How fascinating it is to watch a positive story gather momentum and rocket around the world, not once but many times, taking the professionalism of NZ farmers wherever it went.