6 November 2001
Experts disagree on yellow rust action

By Tom Allen-Stevens

THE warm weather has spurred on the development of the cereal disease yellow rust in the east of England, warns crop advisors.

But advice on what to do about it conflicts.

Managing director of Farmacy Mike Young is urging growers in the east to inspect their early-sown winter wheat crops for signs of the disease.

“The lack of frost to check yellow rust development means crop monitoring and control is important to halt any spread of initial foci,” says Mr Young.

“Particular attention should be shown to the early drilled varieties, like Claire.

“Lush growth brought on by the unseasonably warm weather is contributing to the problem.”

Growers in high-risk yellow rust areas should consider a prophylactic treatment of a new generation triazole at 40% full rate advises Mr Young.

But United Agriproducts technical manager Chris Bean says crops are too well-developed and could benefit from losing a few tillers to disease.

“This may not be too palatable an idea. But disease can still be controlled relatively well in the spring.”

Meanwhile Velcourts Keith Norman says leaving all your disease control until spring could be asking a little too much from even the latest chemistry.

“It may be fine to lose a few tillers now, but strike the right balance. You cannot let diseases like mildew and yellow rust go unabated.”

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