AgraQuest’s Serenade fungicide has been awarded registration in California for use on strawberries.

Sarah Reiter, vice president of marketing for agrochemicals and the food value chain for the Davis, Calif.-based company, said the California Department of Pesticide Registration granted Serenade a registration on April 27.

“It is going to bridge a good portion of the gap created by the (absence of) methyl bromide” she said. While it doesn’t control weeds and insects, it does a good job of controlling soil diseases and gives growers pretty dramatic yield increases over untreated soil.”

“We’re excited about the potential to penetrate that market pretty aggressively,” Reiter said. Florida berry growers have had approval to use the product since late 2011, she said.

Compared with a soil fumigant that could require a field to be untouched for 30 days, the Serenade fungicide only requires four hours.

“Growers can manage their workforce differently,” he said.

With methyl bromide on the way out because of the Kyoto protocol and another product withdrawn from the market last month, Reiter said growers are running out of tools.

Jon Amdursky, media and government relations consultant with AgraQuest, said that the company has been growing by about 30% per year, with about two dozen products under development at any given point in time and about 40 scientists hired in the past few years.