24 July 2002

Farmers miss savings

CEREAL growers are still failing to save up to £20/ha on fungicide costs by tailoring programmes to variety, claims a leading agronomist.

Surveys show farmers use almost the same amount of fungicide regardless of variety, says Morley Research Centre agronomist Mike Nuttall. That is despite varietal resistance ratings offering the potential for significant adjustments to spray use.

Trials this year show a managed three-spray programme achieved good control in relatively resistant Claire for £16/ha less than more susceptible Consort.

That was despite prolonged wet weather in May favouring the spread of Septoria infection, with heavy rain coinciding with critical phases of leaf and ear emergence, he says. &#42