The use of a new range of SDHI fungicides in Ireland has jumped, with the area of cereals treated with these sprays nearly doubling for harvest season 2012, a recent survey reported.

With several of these new fungicides being launched in the past two seasons, the survey said the area of cereals in the whole of Ireland treated rose sharply to an effective 255,000ha applied once with the fungicides.

These products, such as BASF’s Adexar, Syngenta’s Seguris and Bayer’s Aviator Xpro, are currently being used in four countries – Germany, Britain, Austria and Ireland – while Ireland has currently the largest portfolio.

The new SDHIs are slightly more expensive than other fungicides, but are claimed to be more effective and no disease resistance problems have been seen so far in Ireland.

They have taken a 17% share of the cereal fungicide sector in Ireland compared with 13% in Britain, but this is below the 25% share in Germany and 39% in Austria, according to the survey of 400 Irish farmers by researcher Kleffmann Group, working with Independent Business Resource (IBR).

Roger Pratchett, director of IBR, said he will be monitoring to see how these SDHIs, and other new SDHIs expected to be launched this year, fare in the current season.

“With such a dreadful start to the season, crops will be stressed and susceptible to disease so there will be a need to support them throughout the season,” he said.

The survey added that the number of fungicides treatments applied in winter wheat in Ireland rose to 3.49 in 2012 compared with 3.31 in 2011, while those on spring barley fell to 1.90 from 2.02.

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