Warmer weather is encouraging growth in winter wheat crops in Dorset meaning the first major fungicide sprays of the season on winter wheat could only be 10 days away.
A crop of the variety Lili on Eastbury Estates was clearly showing a young leaf three (see picture right), and when the leaf is fully emerged this will signal the timing for a T1 fungicide spray.
Todd Jex, agronomist at advisory group Agrii, believes this crop of Lili is about 10-14 days away from a T1 spray if the weather remains favourable for crop growth.
A cold and dry March helped slow early disease development, predominantly septoria, which had been encouraged by the generally mild and wet winter.
The crop drilled in the last week of September, had an azole + chlorothalonil T0 fungicide spray earlier this spring on Jim Farquharson’s 560ha farm at Tarrant Gunville, some five miles north-east of Blandford Forum.
“We looked at Lili as a more disease resistant variety and aimed to grow it as a feed wheat so we are looking to keep spending on a T1 spray to below £40/ha,” Mr Jex tells Farmers Weekly.
If the dry weather continues and the risk of septoria is assessed as low, then he will look to use a mix of two azoles + chlorothalonil for the T1 spray.
But if the weather turns wet and the risk of septoria is therefore higher then Mr Jex will chose a T1 spray with more curative action and use an SDHI + azole + chlorothalonil approach.