False sense of security over disease prevention

Article taken from The Scottish Farmer

While crop disease has been checked by the weather, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security, is the warning to growers in Scotland and the North of England, from Chris Martin, of Agrovista.

In wheat, his biggest concern is plant architecture with the worry that prostrate plants could easily succumb to septoria with the right weather conditions.  “The weather has helped check disease but despite this a report of 2014 is possible.  Although not at 2014 levels for the corresponding time of year, there is still plenty of inoculum at the bottom of plants,” he argued.

“The proximity of new growth to this is a real concern and we only need a shower or two to set it off.  With weather not impeding T0 sprays, it does give him a measure of comfort but he wants growers to adhere to robust T1s too.

“Last season, growers were tempted into early T)s to deal with lush and septoria threatened crops.  That resulted in T1 applications being compromised too.  We’ve avoided that this year but we must adhere to robust rates of azoles at the T1,” he cautioned.

T0s – or lack of – are his concern with winter barley.  With many growers unable to get on he says there’s no second chance with T1 sprays.

“Once again the rhynchosporium pressure is high and robust varieties such as Volume and Cassata are showing signs of the disease.  Growers could need to upgrade to an SDHI such as SiltraXpro (prothioconazole + Bixafen) at the T1 timing to counter the threat.  Regardless of approach taken it is imperative that prothioconazole is the base,” he said.

The other disease on Mr Martin’s radar is mildew and, with barley T0s being compromised, a robust response is likely.  That mildew threat is highlighted by what he is seeing in oat crops – whilst field-walking, every step has produced ‘mildew clouds’ which he says are a shot across the bows.

“The growth characteristics of oats are a good barometer for what we might face in barley or wheat, especially where no GS30 treatment has been made.  We are fortunately that our core barley azole (prothioconazole) is active but we might need to bolster with specific mildewicide, such as Talius (proquinazid),” he added.

He points out that growers have moved to more resilient septoria wheat varieties but some of these are a susceptible to mildew.  “Many growers have probably used the T0 as an opportunity to damp down the mildew threat.  Of course, prothioconazole based T1s will aid suppression further but even then a second Talius application might be necessary,” he concluded.

 

24 April 2015

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