SUGAR BEET growers looking to protect crops from rust and ramularia, as well as powdery mildew have been advised to consider adding a triazole to their fungicide programme.

Many of the popular varieties being grown, in particular Latoya and rhizomania-resistant varieties, such as Concept, Dorena and Rayo, are highly rust-susceptible, pointed out Bayer CropScience.

Recent British Sugar trials have shown cyproconazole treatments, such as Cabaret, to be the best products for controlling rust and ramularia, said the company.

“With beet area cut back this season and delayed drilling likely to shave 2-3 t/ha off average yields, some growers could find Cabaret a vital tool in reaching quota”, said Bayer‘s sugar beet products manager Peter Stacey.

He recommends growers start the 2004 programme in late July to early August with half rate Cabaret mixed with Fortress (quinoxyfen) to reflect this year‘s high powdery mildew pressure.

To ensure the best possible greening effect and maximise yield, this should be followed up in late August with a second treatment according to disease risk, added Mr Stacey.