Agriculture is changing quickly, but some solutions keep delivering consistently – or even get stronger over time. Redigo is one such success story: introduced just a few years ago in Latin America, it is already well established in the market, and relied on by many growers to protect against some of the most economically significant diseases in the region. But in fact, its full potential hasn’t been realized yet – we are still discovering new ways in which Redigo can help farmers meet their challenges.
Let’s take a look at how Redigo got to where it is today, and what might be next.
The start of the Redigo story
Redigo was registered for corn in Brazil in 2020, but its history stretches back further: all the way to 2013. At this time, a major problem for corn growers was the diseases caused by Fusarium pathogens – primarily stalk rot, which made corn plants more susceptible to lodging. Huge swathes of yield were being lost to the disease. There was a need for new solutions – including an effective fungicide with systemic activity to control the disease in all parts of the plant and conserve yields.
Part of the solution was seed breeding. Bayer entered into a partnership with Monsanto – then a major independent breeding company, but since acquired by Bayer – to improve the performance of corn hybrids to reduce stalk rot incidence.
With the hybrids in place, the next step was to protect them with a seed treatment, so farmers could be confident in their investment in premium seeds. Redigo was devised and eventually registered in corn, with soybean, wheat and cotton following soon after. Today, all the corn seeds Bayer offers in the region are treated with Redigo, meaning it already has significant market penetration.
Recognition grows for Redigo in the present day
Redigo quickly rose to prominence in its own right, partially because of the phase-out of other compounds but also because it genuinely offered something new. Its active ingredient, prothioconazole, was already well-known in the region as a foliar treatment. But this was the first time it was provided as a seed treatment, acting right from the early stages after the seed was planted, and offering a level of protection not seen before.
In addition, it has broad-spectrum action. It is most renowned for its efficacy against Fusarium species, but it also controls other important seed-borne and soil-borne diseases in other crops.
Redigo key crops and diseases
Corn Fusarium moniliforme; Aspergillus flavus; Penicillium oxalicum
Cotton Rhizoctonia solani
Soybean Rhizoctonia solani; Fusarium pallidoroseum; Aspergillus flavus
Wheat Bipolaris sorokiniana; Puccinia triticina
As a seed treatment, it also works extremely well as part of integrated solutions incorporating several different technologies. “Redigo increases the efficacy of the whole Bayer package,” says Rodrigo Guerzoni – Agronomic Solutions Disease Manager LATAM. But devising these packages correctly was a challenge: “The tropical environment dynamic is peculiar. Big opportunities co-exist with many threats that need to be considered, demanding an integrated approach.
“One of the challenges was to understand the product behavior for different crops and targets in a tropical agriculture environment, where production systems are undergoing constant transformations, which affects the dynamics of interaction between diseases and crops.”
This is an ongoing journey but the first step is already complete: enabling growers to see Redigo’s performance at scale, combined with our own seeds. The demand for Redigo is clearly there!
No limits for Redigo in the future
When it comes to the integrated concept, SeedGrowth has ambitious plans for the coming years. “Next year, we are planning to launch Accelerus Packs, which will contain everything the grower needs to protect their seeds: insecticides, fungicides, nematicides and inoculants. And Redigo will be the star of the whole package,” says Hugo Bonetti – Asset Manager SGR LATAM.
Those won’t just be in corn, either. We will put a concerted effort into developing the soybean, cotton and wheat markets. These are more fragmented than corn, with Bayer seeds not having such a large footprint – but with multi-stakeholder engagement with different seed companies, we can create more opportunities for farmers to access seeds pre-treated with Redigo. Soybean will be a particular focus for this effort.
Meanwhile, we continue to discover new uses and markets for Redigo itself. Its possibilities have only just begun! “Several field trials are currently being conducted that show promising early results in diseases where we did not initially think Redigo could have any control,” says Ana Klosowski – Agronomic Solutions Disease Manager LATAM. “So, besides offering it in combination with other products, we want to expand the label for Redigo. Eventually it could become the most complete fungicide in the market.”
The pace of change in Latin America continues to accelerate. Socioeconomic and land use changes, gains in productivity and sustainability, climate change mitigation, supply chain management, consumer engagement, and advancing scientific and digital technologies are among the trends affecting agriculture in real time. Solutions will be multifaceted – but we can be sure that Redigo will be among them. “These new challenges usually require an integrated solutions approach for a more sustainable management, and seed treatments play an important role,” concludes Rodrigo Guerzoni – Agronomic Solutions Disease Manager LATAM. “They are an important tool to build sustainable solutions to enable healthy crops and benefits for the growers and society.”