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Put To The Test
August 2016
With 20 years of scientific research, Growth Products™ Companion® Biological Fungicide continues to protect crops from soil-borne and foliar diseases better than chemicals alone.
In an industry with an endless supply of supposedly cure-all crop inputs, a product that's backed up by scientific research stands out from the pack. Growth Products™ Companion® Biological Fungicide boasts 20 years of university and government agency testing at more than 30 accredited institutions worldwide. One such institution is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which registered the product for use in every green industry market from turf and landscape to greenhouse and hydroponics. When it comes to effective crop protection, research, testing and gold-star results make all the difference.
Companion® uses the GB03 strain of Bacillus subtilis and works by prompting Induced Systemic Resistance (ISR) in plants. This environmentally friendly broad-spectrum biological fungicide has a zero- to four-hour REI, and its fast-colonizing beneficial rhizobacteria stimulate root growth and promote plant vigor, all while preventing plant pathogens from taking hold.
Companion® is significant for its ability to protect crops of all spades from soil-borne and foliar diseases-damping off, powdery mildew, and gray mold, to name a few-better than its chemical counterparts alone. For its part, Companion® avoids triggering pathogen resistance because it can be combined with other products. When used with small amounts of chemical fungicides as part of an integrated pest management (IPM) program, for example, the combination produces superior results.

A study conducted by the Department of Plant Pathology & Plant-Microbe Biology LIHREC at Cornell University showed Companion® worked better than the chemical Procymidone at controlling powdery mildew on organically grown tomatoes. It worked best, however, when combined with 25 percent of the regular amount of Procymidone. This can be an ideal option for growers looking to save money and significantly reduce their conventional chemical usage.

Another downside to relying solely on traditional chemicals is that crop yield and weight often suffer. In a 2009 study conducted by Dr. Gary E. Vallad at the University of Florida, Companion® was used in conjunction with conventional fungicides in order to attempt to control powdery mildew on cantaloupe cultivars. Companion proved what scientists have found with respect to other crops as well: Adding companion to an IPM program improves plant vigor, root development and overall growth.

The experiment tested four products (unsprayed control, Regalia, Actinovate and Companion®) on Hale's Best cantaloupe cultivars that had been treated with alternating treatments of fungicide Procure. While both Companion® and the chemical Regalia were highly effective at combating the disease, the Companion® plot produced significantly more marketable fruit and greater marketable fruit weight than the competition.
For plant growers who want a 100 percent organic and natural product that won't harm workers or destroy the environment, Companion® has proven its ability to safeguard plants from disease and reduce crop loss. This is particularly important for green professionals who get paid by the pound. One thing is certain: Growers who want to protect their lifeblood and investment should trust a biological fungicide that's been put to the test and passed with flying colors.