Maize Research Institute “Zemun Polje”

A win-win partnership for
seed treatment in Serbia

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“Our quality seeds deserve the Bayer quality seed treatment,” says Dr. Željko Kaitović, a leading marketing specialist at the Maize Research Institute “Zemun Polje” (ZP) in Serbia. All ZP’s seeds are treated as a standard measure with various seed treatment products from Bayer, including the fungicidal Redigo® M. The partnership is proving beneficial for both sides – and for farmers as well.
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Corn farmers benefit from this partnership, as their plants stay healthier and their yields are boosted by tried-and-tested seed treatment products.

ZP is the leading R&D organization in Serbia for the development, production and introduction of new high-yielding quality maize hybrids. They have also started development of soybean cultivars, and small grain varieties that are adapted to diverse agro-ecological conditions and growing practices. ZP has 300 employees (49 of them PhDs), six research laboratories, including certified ISTA Seed testing Laboratory, 1,400 ha of arable land, a Maize Breeding Station for the development of full-range maize hybrids, a maize gene bank with more than 5,500 accessions of local and introduced maize genotypes, and a seed processing plant with an annual capacity of 8,700 t. ZP’s headquarters is on the outskirts of Belgrade on the flat fertile land near the River Danube. The maize hybrids, soya bean cultivars and small grain varieties that are the outcome of ZP’s research and development work are produced in basic and certified qualities, and are then dried, treated and stored. ZP’s comprehensive seed portfolio is rounded off by marketing and advertising activities, as well as seed sales to customers throughout Serbia, the countries of ex-Yugoslavia, and other neighboring countries, former USSR countries, Middle East and North Africa.
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Redigo M tests well

As Bayer and ZP had started cooperating in testing seed treatment products several years before the registration of Redigo M in Serbia in 2015, ZP subjected this fungicidal seed treatment to intensive testing at six-month and one-year intervals prior to its introduction in commercial seed treatment of ZP maize seeds. The results, Dr. Kaitović says, were very satisfying: “When testing Redigo M we investigated two parameters: biological efficacy on the one hand, and selectivity and influence on seed carry-over on the other. The results clearly demonstrated Redigo M’s reliable efficacy against major seed and soil-borne diseases such as fusarium and pythium. The selectivity tests revealed good seed vigor and emergence qualities. The carry-over tests proved Redigo M’s low impact. All the parameters were fulfilled to a high degree.” As a result of these positive tests, ZP decided to include Redigo M as a standard feature of its all-in package of seed-applied products, which also includes the insecticide seed treatment Sonido® and the Peridiam® range of coatings. Serbian farmers, Dr. Kaitović adds, have a great deal of trust in seed treatment products from Bayer and ZP has been extremely satisfied with the results so far.

Beneficial partnership

Besides the close cooperation in testing these products, Bayer is closely involved in all stages of after-sales support in producing the quantities of certified seed required for ZP’s domestic and export markets. Bayer specialists have been involved in recipe development and testing the quality of the seed produced to ensure its high quality. The tests conducted are the Heubach dust-off test in order to support the sustainability of seed treatment and a seed-loading test developed by Bayer to determine if a sufficient amount of the seed treatment has been applied to each seed to ensure sufficient biological efficacy. In order to customize solutions in line with ZP’s needs, Bayer also supplies some equipment (e.g. mixers and pumps for container packs). Last but not least, Bayer runs training courses for ZP’s field force and supports various joint marketing activities.

Bayer Serbia benefits from cooperating with ZP not just in the field of product testing but also because ZP has the broadest coverage and highest market share in the Serbian maize market. It’s a win-win situation for both sides, as ZP also profits from the confidence Serbian farmers place in seed treatment products marketed under a strong Bayer brand. The ultimate beneficiaries, however, are the corn, soybean and small grain farmers themselves, as their plants stay healthier and their yields are boosted by tried-and-tested seed treatment products.

Interview with Andreas Knupp, Product Manager SeedGrowth Central & Eastern Europe

Redigo M – the dual-action fungicidal seed treatment

At this year’s ESA in Madrid, we asked Andreas Knupp, Product Manager SeedGrowth Central & Eastern Europe at Bayer and Key Account Manager Seed Companies Europe, to tell us more about the company’s new fungicidal seed treatment Redigo M.

What diseases does Redigo M control?
“Redigo M is effective against the two most important diseases affecting corn in its early stages: fusarium and pythium. The fungicidal seed treatment contains two well-proven active ingredients: Prothioconazole with its excellent efficacy against fusarium, and Metalaxyl, which is very effective against pythium. This dual-action fungicide can be combined with other components of Bayer’s seed treatment portfolio, i.e. the Sonido and Mesurol® insecticides and Peridiam 311 and 316 coatings to create an all-in seed-applied package that meets all the grower’s needs.”

What countries is Redigo M registered in?
“Redigo M has already been registered in Serbia, Turkey and the Ukraine for more than a year. In July 2018 we also obtained the first registration in an EU member-state, France, and we expect registration in the other EU countries to follow within the next 6-18 months. Russia is also expected to grant a registration within this time-frame. First commercial usage in the EU will already take place for the 2019 corn sowing.”

Use plant protection products safely. Always read the label and product information before use. Advertising of Redigo® M, Peridiam®, Sonido®, and Mesurol® is only admitted in countries where the products have been authorized.
The referenced products are trademarks of Bayer AG.
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