WHEAT growers have been warned of a potential mildew epidemic.

There are low levels of the disease at present, said spray manufacturer BASF, but dry weather during May could see it burst into life in unprotected cereal crops.

“We have lush crops, moist soil and, in winter wheat, a large area of a susceptible variety,” said Tony Grayburn, BASF fungicide products manager.

“We just need a hot, dry spell to trigger an explosion – and that could come at any time.”

He advises growers who did not include a mildew spray at T1 to make regular mildew checks over the next few weeks.

“Because the disease develops rapidly under the right conditions it is essential to treat it quickly before it gets out of control.”