APPLYING NITROGEN and improving the manganese status of the soil can reduce the severity of take-all symptoms.

Using nitrogen acidifies the soil and a low pH inhibits the growth of the take-all pathogen, says Prof Romheld of the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany.

High manganese availability also helps. “It’s interesting that the use of oats as a break crop improves the manganese status of the following wheat crop. The reason for this is that oats have a high manganese concentration.”

 All the evidence points to the fact that manganese is involved in the suppression of take-all.