WHEAT GROWERS have been advised to apply robust ear wash sprays to combat high levels of disease.

Potentially devastating infections of Septoria tritici are still prevalent in crops that have now reached full ear emergence, according to Richard Palmer, agronomist with of Farm Vision Arable Services.

“The disease is still actively spreading up the plant, and is threatening to infect the upper two leaves,” he warned.

“It could seriously affect the yield if it is not controlled.”

Trouble getting T1 and T2 sprays on at the right time and a large area of varieties with relatively poor disease resistance have hampered efforts to keep a lid on disease, he said.

This is coupled with limited control from strobilurin fungicides, meaning growers have had to rely heavily on epoxiconazole and chlorothalonil.

“This has worked well where the timing has been spot on, but the disease has got away on many crops,” said Mr Palmer.

“It is imperative that growers deal with the threat at T3.”

His advice for T3 is to continue with a robust epoxiconazole ingredient where Septoria tritici is a threat, especially on susceptible varieties such as Consort and Tanker.

As long as two strob applications have not already been made, growers should include one at T3 that is effective against late rusts and ear diseases, he added.