Protect early to stay ahead

Article taken from the Farmers Guardian

The aim with cereal disease control must be to remain in a protectant situation for as long as possible to keep ahead of this season’s mounting disease pressure, growers are being advised.

This approach will help protect wheat yields and reduce the chance of diseases such as septoria developing resistance to key fungicide chemistry.

Cheshire-based Agrovista agronomist Phil Campion is an advocate of spending at the beginning of the season, rather than looking to cut-back.

He says:  “We have to keep crops as clean as we can for as long as we can.

“Even the most robust T0 is unlikely to cost much more than £20-25/hectare.  In the scheme of things that is a relatively low figure, and it may well be possible to trim expenditure later in the season if disease levels are low to help recoup some of the cost.  This would not be the case when chasing infection let in early.

“If you treat a crop as an average crop that is all it will ever be.  T0 is no longer a take-it-or-leave-it spray- by getting good protection on early we can stay ahead of any infection.”

Plentiful septoria in all his crops reinforces the importance of that message.  “It is easy to spot in all crops so they will need protecting from the off.  There is some mildew about as well, though yellow rust is not a problem yet.”

Work back

He advises growers not to start spraying too early.  “I work back from T2, which is the most important spray when it comes to protecting yield.  Looking at records over several years, this tends to end up about May 21.

“Allowing roughly 3.5 weeks between spray timings mean the T0 needs to go on in the first couple of days of April to ensure those timing intervals are not stretched and the yield-building leaves are continuously protected.”


27 March 2015

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