fungicide timings under pressure as disease levels rise

Article taken from the Farmers Guardian

Heavy disease  pressure in winter wheat crops across the north of England means correct timing of T2 fungicides is more important than ever.

Agrovista technical manager Chris Martin says septoria is at the highest level he can remember, and yellow rust remains an ever-present threat in the North East.  Although well-timed T0 and T1 fungicides have kept the disease at bay, there is no room for complacency, he says.

“We had a mild winter and lush crops, which encouraged disease.  Crops are also forward – leaf two emerged early and rubbed against lower leaves which were plastered in septoria, helping carry disease up the plant.  We has had unsettled weather since, so we have the perfect storm developing.”

Growers should leave no more than three weeks between T1 and T2 applications, says Mr Martin.  However, the temptation to bring T2 forward must be avoided at all costs.  If intervals look like being stretched, a T1.5 should be applied as a holding spray, he adds.

And growers should be ready to return within two weeks of the T2 spray with a T3, if the weather remains unsettled, to help protect against head blight, Mr Martin says.


But if it remains dry and there is no risk of an outbreak developing, sprays can wait a further week when the aim will be to top up foliar disease control.

Agrovista agronomist Phil Campion, who looks after crops in Cheshire, North Wales and Lancashire, reports concerns with septoria, though yellow rust is much less of a problem, he says.

There are high levels of septoria inoculum present below final leaf three in many winter wheat crops, according to the latest CropMonitor report.

Rain splash events will expose the upper three leaves to risk from infection as they emerge and a change in the weather is now delaying T2 fungicide applications. 


16 May 2014

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