Bayer Corporation has announced the Environmental Protection Agency has approved the federal registration of the strobilurin fungicide Gem fungicide for use on citrus.

Gem is a broad-spectrum foliar fungicide that provides outstanding control of damaging diseases that attack citrus fruit and leaves — including alternaria, greasy spot, melanose and scab.

“Gem protects citrus groves against infection from several destructive fungal diseases,” says Jimmy Johnson, market manager for Bayer. “The excellent preventive activity and unique locked-in properties of Gem provide long residual control on treated crops — up to 21 days — while having positive effects on fruit quality and yield.”

Gem exhibits unique redistribution properties within citrus trees.

“The locked-in activity of Gem offers a high affinity with the plant surface, which means the fungicide is absorbed by the waxy layer and redistributed and redeposited in the citrus fruit and leaves,” Johnson explains.

Gem is essentially “locked-in” to the plant's surface; therefore, it provides long-lasting, weather-protected disease control in citrus.

“Gem also demonstrates excellent rainfastness, resulting in longer residual control than other citrus fungicides,” says Johnson. “The unique features of Gem offer added advantages over key competitive compounds and provide superior control of several diseases in citrus,” Johnson explains.

Gem controls disease by interfering with respiration in plant pathogenic fungi, and it is a potent inhibitor of spore germination and mycelial growth. Gem can be applied to citrus groves via ground or aerial spray applications.

For all citrus diseases use rates of Gem are low, four to eight ounces per acre, but should not exceed more than 32 ounces per acre per season.

“Gem has a high level of activity against many fungal pathogens across various crops and it is particularly effective against powdery mildews and scabs, as well as leaf and fruit spots,” Johnson says. “Bayer is pleased to bring this new, highly effective fungicide to the citrus market.”

Best known for its flagship product, Bayer Aspirin, Bayer produces a broad range of health care, life sciences and chemical products that help diagnose and treat diseases, purify water, preserve local landmarks, protect crops, advance automobile safety and durability and improve people's lives.

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Bayer Corporation had sales of $10.1 billion in 2000 and is one of Fortune magazine's Most Admired Companies. The company employs 23,200 people.