10 May 1996

Best results from good spring management

CORRECT early management is vital for a good quality crop, says Mr Laverick.

"Spring management practice can have important implications for screenings. This season many oat crops have come through the winter remarkably well and look very thick."

Nitrogen should be delayed and applied in a single dose, he advises. The same approach should be taken with growth regulator, using the full rate plus wetter when most plants are at the second node detectable stage (GS32).

Mildew is the main disease threat. It is most damaging from stem extension to ear emergence and can develop rapidly during May, he warns.

Fungicide choice is limited to morpholines like fenpropimorph (eg, Corbel) and tridemorph (eg, Calixin), and triazoles such as propiconazole (eg, Tilt) and triadimenol (eg, Spinnaker). Mr Laverick advises a morpholine/triazole mix as soon as mildew is active, usually about GS32.

That can delay the onset of crown rust, which needs careful monitoring later. Yield losses of up to 30% have been recorded, he notes. "Very early identification and treatment is essential. If allowed to establish, current products will not give adequate control." &#42

New oat advice is included in the latest agronomy package to keep UK growers one step ahead of the competition, says Richard Laverick.