Septoria the focus in the North

Article taken from the Farmers Guardian, written by Teresa Rush

Crop management in the north of England needs careful planning over the next few weeks to turn good potential into reality.

While there is much talk of rust in the South and East, the North sees septoria as a real threat to wheat crops this season.  Most stands which were drilled in good time look well after the benign winter in the North East, although the challenge is to keep them that way, says Agrovista technical manager Chris Martin, adding many crops have good potential but are now quite thick.

He says:  “There is plenty of septoria on lower leaves and masses of spores on dead ones.  A few April showers will be enough to kick off an epidemic.”

It is a similar picture in Agrovista agronomist Phil Campion’s area, which includes Cheshire, North Wales and Lancashire.

“Anything early drilled is looking good.  Crops following maize or potatoes are more variable, depending on how much rain fell after drilling,” he says.

Septoria, as always, will be his key target.  “There is plenty in the bottom of crops,” he adds.

Many fields under his watch have been too wet to travel on, delaying some wheat T0 applications.

Fortunately, most growers have caught up which will keep the disease in check until T1 towards the end of April. 

Yellow rust had been prevalent in the North East but has been knocked down at T0.  It has been largely absent further west.  “I have seen only a couple of crops with low levels and a low dose of Centaur (cyproconazole) in with the T0 has cleared it up,” says Mr Campion.

A robust T1 is critical to keep on top of septoria, Mr Martin says.  “If it turns dry we can trim costs at T2 but we cannot afford to skimp at T1 – we have to keep leaf three upwards clean.”

SDHIs will feature heavily at T1 given the reduced efficacy of triazoles against septoria.  “We have noticed a drop in performance even in the past two seasons,” says Mr Campion.  “And crops have lots of potential and need looking after.”

Variano Xpro (bixafen + fluoxastrobin + prothioconazole) at 1.25 litres/hectare is favoured.

To increase protectant activity, especially if T0 has been missed, one litre of Fielder (chlorothalonil + proquinazid) will be added if mildew is a threat.  This combination also provides good activity against eyespot, says Mr Martin.

“If there is a high rust and septoria risk I might use Frelizon, which contains the SDHI penthiopyrad plus picoxystrobin, and add triazoles as Ennobe.”

For second wheats, Mr Camion recommends a boscalid product, such as Nebula, for eye-spot which could be a problem given the cool, wet conditions.

Most crops will need a second dose of Moddus or Optimus (trinexapac) at 0.1-0.15 litres/ha at T1.  “It is not just about rooting this season – many crops need basal node and height management which the second application brings,” says Mr Martin.

Winter barley

Winter barley looks healthy in his area.  In the North West, crops have suffered from the wet and delayed nitrogen applications, so have only greened up in the past fortnight, says Mr Campion.

T1 fungicides have only just been applied with Jaunt, which contains prothioconazole and two strobs, the standard treatment.

“The addition of SDHI chemistry will broaden spectrum and improve disease control and, under high disease pressure, I will be adding Librax [now approved for malting barley] or Cebara to the Jaunt,” says Mr Martin.

Oat growers can use Canopy (mepiquat + prohexadione) for the first time this season, says Mr Martin, reducing the risk of blind sites from ill-timed trinexapac treatments.  Growth stage 32 will be his favoured timing.


04 April 2014

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