EYESPOT HAS been found in over ninety percent of wheat crops tested in a survey by Syngenta and independent agronomists across the UK.

Some 86% of samples tested showed signs of the aggressive R strain of the disease, of which nearly a third (29%) showed type R alone.

Just over half (57%) had mixed R and W eyespot infection, highlighting the importance of choosing a fungicide to tackle both strains, said the firm‘s Rod Burke.

“With a potential 30% yield loss from eyespot, coupled with the increased risk of lodging loss where eyespot infection is present, these results represent a very worrying threat.”

In trials, yield losses of 0.9t/ha have resulted from the R type alone and the disease can flare up from relatively low levels, he warned.

Growers must be aware that the R strain is also the dominant strain in barley, he added.

Mr Burke urges growers to assess risk factors for any wheat field and suggests using the new Home-Grown Cereals Authority risk assessment model.