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Posted 6 October 2005. PMN Crop News.

Cannonball™ Registered for Vine Decline Suppression in Cucurbits

Syngenta Crop Protection.

Greensboro, NC (August 23, 2005) – Cannonball™ fungicide from Syngenta Crop Protection has received a label from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), plus state pesticide regulatory agencies in California, Arizona and Texas, for use on cucurbits. It contains the active ingredient fludioxonil, and will be used for suppression of vine decline in cantaloupes, a devastating disease caused by the soil-borne fungus Monosporascus cannonballus. The majority of cantaloupes affected by this disease are grown in these three states.


As its name implies, vine decline defoliates crop vines, affecting both yield and quality. Foliage will dry up during the season, resulting in sunburned melons. Vine defoliation will also reduce the size of harvested melons and interfere with sugar accumulation in the fruit.

University research has shown that in warm fall soils, vine decline can infect cantaloupes within nine days of planting, making early season control essential. No viable control methods for vine decline have been available to growers until now.

“Cannonball will be used as a preplant treatment by shanking it into the soil or as a preemergent treatment by applying it through a drip irrigation system,” said Paul Reising, technical support representative for Syngenta Crop Protection. “This treatment will typically be applied in August for fall melons and January through March for spring melons. Because the disease thrives and infects in warmer soils, vine decline is more of a problem in the fall crop.”

Fludioxonil is a unique broad-spectrum fungicide. It is classified by the EPA as a “reduced risk pesticide” due to its excellent toxological profile. EPA expedites the registration of certain pesticides for specific applications because it deems them to be “reduced risk,” based on characteristics such as very low toxicity to humans and non-target organisms, low risk of groundwater contamination or runoff, low potential for pesticide resistance, demonstrated efficacy, and compatibility with integrated pest management practices.

“Cannonball is a very active contact fungicide, providing suppression of this important disease,” Reising said. “This is a difficult disease, and we saw excellent activity with Cannonball in spring 2005 trials.”


Roger Ryerson
Gibbs & Soell, Inc. (PR Agency for Syngenta)

Mary DeMers
Syngenta Crop Protection