19 May 1995

the diseases at bay

Cooler weather helps keep

A return to cooler weather after the early May heatwave sees crops on our barometer farms still remarkably disease-free. But most growers plan only minor adjustments to their cereal fungicide programmes. Andrew Blake reports

APART from some mildew on Mercia wheat, cereals at Wroxham Home Farms, Norfolk, are "pretty clean", according to manager Robin Baines.

With the land still very dry, some of the farms eight hose reel irrigators have already been at work on the barleys in preparation for starting their main job on potatoes this week, he reports.

A reduced-rate mix of Sanction (flusilazole), Calixin (tridemorph) and Defensor (carbendazim) at GS31/32 kept disease at bay on the winter barley.

The next step is a rolling plan using Epic (epoxiconazole), on the advice of agronomist Jo Magrath, to keep the awns clean as they emerge.

A "look see" Terpal (ethephon) treatment on a crop of Puffin for seed given a high rate of nitrogen is also on the cards.

Mercias mildew has been dealt with by 0.45 litres/ha of Patrol (fenpropidin) + 0.6 litres/ha of Alto (cyproconazole) at GS32. Hereward and Spark needed only the Alto.

Wheat flag leaf tactics will be based on looking more intensely at crops at the time, says Mr Baines. "We will hold off as long as possible, maybe to ear emergence when we go on with the late N."

Blight sprays were expected to begin this week using a programme starting with Dithane (mancozeb), and following up with two or three different systemic products to counter resistance.

A "sniff" of Talstar (bifenthrin) took care of a light flea beetle attack on the linseed on set-aside land.