If you’re sowing second or third wheats this autumn then choosing varieties with good take-all resistance and using a specialist seed treatment could have a significant yield benefit.

That was the main finding from the first year of comparative trials at Frontier Agriculture’s Cambridgeshire site. In the third wheat trial, the best variety treated with the specialist take-all fungicide Latitude (silthiofam) yielded 10.74t/ha, some 2.7t/ha ahead of the worst, which had a single purpose dressing.

“Although it was in a third cereal situation, the level of response we saw to variety and seed treatment was evident despite the fact the crop wasn’t sown especially early [October 3] and following a season of relatively low take-all incidence; factors which both tend to reduce early take-all pressure,” Frontier trials manager Jim Carswell said.

He expected take-all pressure to be higher on all crops this season following the warm and wet summer; especially where second and subsequent wheats were drilled in September and seedbed conditions were less than ideal.

“Under these circumstances, we would strongly advise all those planning to increase second wheats, in particular, to put emphasis on careful variety and seed treatment choice….it could make all the difference to 2008 harvest performance,” he added.

Keep track of what’s going on in the field with FWi’s weekly Crop Watch reports from a team of agronomists around the UK.