BISMARCK – Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring has issued a special local needs (SLN) registration to the Gowan Co., allowing North Dakota potato growers to use chemigation equipment to apply the fungicide Moncut® 70-DF to better manage black scurf.

“Moncut® is already registered for in-furrow use on potatoes, but not for chemigation,” Goehring said. “Since chemigation is a common practice for potato growers to deliver nutrients, it is an ideal means for delivering a fungicide and ensuring uniform coverage.”

Goehring said data supplied by Gowan demonstrates that Moncut® 70-DF applied by chemigation is effective in controlling black scurf.

Caused by the fungus Rhizoctonia solani, black scurf affects the stolons, tubers and below-ground stems of potato plants. The disease can kill sprouts, delay emergence, cause weak sprouts and impact marketability of potatoes.

Chemigation is the application of pesticides or fertilizers through irrigation equipment.

The SLN labeling allows Moncut® 70DF to be applied at a rate of 0.25 to 0.40 pounds of product per acre by chemigation if the fungicide was previously applied in-furrow. A rate of 0.71 to 1.1 pounds of product per ace is allowed under the SLN registration if no in-furrow application was made under the full federal label. A 45-day pre-harvest interval must be observed.

Applicators must follow directions, restrictions, and precautions on the EPA-registered label and the SLN label. They must also have the SLN label in their possession during application.

Section 24(c) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act gives states the authority to register additional uses for federally registered pesticide products, or new products to meet special local needs. EPA reviews these registrations.

The SLN registration was supported by Gowan and by Gary Secor, professor of plant pathology at North Dakota State University.

The SLN registration allows use statewide and expires Jan. 1, 2016.

North Dakota ranks fifth in potato production in the U.S.