Flag leaf fungicides with eyespot activity could give growers some additional reduction in “R” type eyespot in wheat, results from a Harper Adams University College trial suggests.

In the trial, which was inoculated with 10 different isolates of “R” type eyespot, a two-spray programme of BASF’s eyespot and foliar disease fungicide Tracker significantly reduced “R” type eyespot compared with the control plots, and gave more control than just a T1 Tracker (epoxiconazole + boscalid) application followed by a T2 spray of Opus (epoxiconazole).

The trial suggests it is possible for growers to get additional control of “R” type eyespot, which develops later in the season than the “W” strain, from a flag leaf spray, HAUC researcher Rumiana Ray says.

“I’m not recommending growers target eyespot at flag leaf, GS31-33 is the key timing for that, but it shows it is possible to get some extra eyespot control if Tracker is applied at flag leaf for septoria control.”

Hitting the target at flag leaf isn’t always easy, she admits.

“You have a much thicker canopy and larger plant, which makes it difficult to get the spray down to the infection on the stem.”

That’s why further work is needed to evaluate whether the trial’s result is a consistent effect, she stresses.

“We’re doing another trial this year.”