Where to start with BUTEO® start?

Insecticide seed treatment for oilseed rape / canola

SeedGrowth Asset Manager Nora Eischet answers some of the key questions surrounding Bayer’s new BUTEO® start solution...

What are the main physical and chemical characteristics of Buteo® start?

Nora Eischet: “BUTEO® start is an insecticidal seed treatment, based on the new active ingredient Flupyradifurone (concentration: 480 g/L), which is a Butenolide (4D IRAC classification) inspired by nature. So far, BUTEO® start has been introduced for OSR/Canola with the key target of flea beetles as well as other insects, such as cabbage stem flea beetle and cabbage root fly.”

How would you describe the mode of action?

Nora Eischet: “With its active ingredient Flupyradifurone, BUTEO® start has a novel and differentiated mode of action based on the natural compound Stemofoline, an isolate from the medicinal plant Stemona japonica that grows mainly in Southeast Asia. It is systemic and absorbed directly by the root system, protecting the young plant from a variety of insects, especially flea beetles, in its early stages. Importantly, Flupyradifurone does not show cross-resistance to pyrethroids or CNI products. At the same time, BUTEO® start has also a favorable eco-toxicological profile and is kind to beneficial insects such as pollinators.”

What are the main markets Buteo® start was developed for?

Nora Eischet: “BUTEO® start was first developed for OSR/Canola, offering a strong protection against various pests, especially flea beetle. So far, BUTEO® start - treated seeds have been introduced in most of the largest OSR/Canola countries in Europe and North America, and we have received exceptional feedback from farmers. Starting in 2022, we will also be using Flupyradifurone in a product combination on soybeans against aphids and bean leaf beetle in Canada.”

How can Buteo® start help to tackle current challenges in farming practices?

Nora Eischet: “Protecting a crop in its early stages against pest pressure is key for farmers to assure that the plants can emerge strongly and evenly in the field and ultimately deliver a good yield at the end of the season. For this, farmers need the right seed treatment for their crops. In this context, BUTEO® start has been a game changer for OSR/Canola farmers in Canada and Europe. In Europe, growers were happy to see a new technology being introduced to the market after many other solutions (especially CNI-based ones) had been restricted for regulatory reasons. In Canada, where there are more solutions available, growers were excited about BUTEO® start because it proved far more effective than competitor products against different varieties of flea beetles, which farmers struggled to control previously.”

Are there any best practice customer cases or field trials we could mention here to highlight the product benefits?

Nora Eischet: “Of course, we have done a lot of field trials internally to showcase the benefits of BUTEO® start, but what matters most is our customers’ voices. And these have been overwhelmingly positive! Just looking at farmers’ Twitter comments in Canada, you get a feeling of what a real-life difference this new product makes in the field, as a “shining star” and “game changer” against high flea beetle pressure (check out the hashtag #BUTEOstartAdvantage). We will also be rolling out a market survey at the end of this year to get more detailed customer insights in some key EU markets. This feedback fills us with pride to be able to provide such a relevant and effective solution to our customers.”

The broader public is discussing chemical plant protection products and seed treatments a lot: How can Buteo® start help to master sustainability issues?

Nora Eischet: “As Bayer, we are dedicated to enabling sustainable agriculture. Seed treatments are a sustainable way of applying crop protection products as they offer strong protection in the early plant stages with just a fraction of the product volume that would be needed for foliar sprays. BUTEO® start in particular has been shown to have a beneficial eco-toxicological profile. Field and laboratory studies show that BUTEO® start is kind to beneficial insects (e.g. pollinators), as its active ingredient shows no evidence of adverse effects on honeybees and honeybee colonies. Therefore, the product protects young plants from pest pressure while being compatible with beneficial insects. BUTEO® start contributes to sustainable agriculture.”

Are there any plans to develop Buteo® start further?

Nora Eischet: “Of course, we are always looking for ways to improve our products even further and expand any given solution to different regions and crop segments. We are extending the use of Flupyradifurone to soybeans against aphids and bean leaf beetle in Canada in the 2022 planting season. Furthermore, we are hoping to also be able to offer BUTEO® start to sugar beet growers in the near future, especially in Europe where the growers’ portfolio of possible solutions against early pests has been significantly reduced by regulatory and societal pressure. BUTEO® start could make a real difference in this segment.”

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