A lthough eliminating weed and insect pressure is critical in any rice production system, farmers must also address disease control to maximize yields and realize optimum milling quality. And how better to do that than to turn to a double whammy fungicide like Quilt Xcel?
This fungicide, which received its Section 3 registration from EPA in 2009, contains two active ingredients – azoxystrobin + propiconazole; therefore, it provides preventive and curative disease control.
According to Syngenta, which manufactures the product, the “Xcel advantage” includes increased azoxystrobin (the active ingredient in Quadris), long-lasting residual control, broad-spectrum disease control and optimized plant performance. These benefits can lead to healthier plants that produce higher yields due to better photosynthetic efficiency essential to maximizing yield, the company says.
A plant pathologist’s perspective
Dr. Rick Cartwright, plant pathologist with the University of Arkansas, tested Quilt Xcel at multiple locations for the past two to three years, primarily for sheath blight control. However, he also observed how it performed on other diseases that developed as well.
“We tested the 17.5 fluid-ounce rate and consistently tested the 21 fluid-ounce rate, which would be the two more common target rates in our state,” Cartwright says. “We received excellent control of sheath blight and good yield protection. Quilt Xcel is a good fit for rice.
“I like the way it’s packaged, the rates and the convenience factor of having both fungicides in a premix,” he adds.
Helps produce salable rice
Arkansas rice consultants also have had a chance to try Quilt Xcel out in the field.
Curt Johnson, in Chicot County, Ark., says the fungicide is “very trustworthy, consistent” and performs well even under extreme conditions. He says he plans to use the product this year, depending on disease pressure, because of its flexibility in usage rates.
“It just comes right out of the jug,” he says. “You don’t have to guess about what you’re doing. Just consider your disease pressure, calculate the rate and hit the field. The performance is excellent.”
Rusty Hestir, who consults in Desha County, Ark., points out that in today’s rice business not only are farmers dealing with bushels per acre but also with milling grade.
“Mills want high quality rice,” Hestir says. “If you’re thinking about putting out a fungicide like Quilt Xcel, think about your milling grade. In your rice production system, you can’t afford to leave one of the blocks out of the pyramid and let everything come tumbling down. Quilt Xcel is a great insurance policy for maintaining quality and producing rice that will be salable.”
Gibbs & Soell, which represents Syngenta, contributed information for this article.