2 August 2002

Second wheat varieties named

By Andrew Blake

CERTAIN winter wheat varieties are clearly more suitable as second crops than others – whether take-all is a factor or not, Masstock trials in Devon suggest.

Consort in particular seems well suited to the second slot, with indications from a first wheat trial that it resists take-all better than Claire, says the firms David Langton.

Take-all can certainly be found on the Cullompton site. "It may be a contributory factor. But the fact is that some varieties definitely seem to perform well in second wheat situations."

Whether that is because they are more vigorous in resisting take-all or are simply more able to cope with stressful conditions matters little, he suggests.

Other "stress-busting" types highlighted in the second wheat trial drilled on Oct 3 comparing Sibutol (bitertanol + fuberidazole) and Latitude (silthiofam) seed treatments include Deben and Napier. Along with Consort all three displayed less than 20% whiteheads irrespective of treatment.

Option showed a similar level with Latitudes protection, but considerably more without it. Equinox suffered 70% with Sibutol alone and nearly 20% even with Latitude, notes Dr Langton.

Consorts robustness was highlighted in the first wheat trial sown on Sept 15 after set-aside to compare several different seed treatments. There were no visual differences in the levels of take-all between them.

But Claire in the same field, dressed only with Sibutol, was quite badly affected in patches with plant stunting and noticeably infected roots. "Even though it was maturing slightly earlier there was significantly more take-all."

Establishment technique had a marked effect, he adds. "Half the field was ploughed and half min-tilled, and there was significantly less take-all after the min-till."

That is because ploughing leaves a much looser soil structure in the rooting zone, which favours the disease, he says. "Even where you roll you never consolidate much more than the top two inches. We are seeing this effect in many places." &#42

Ploughing (top) resulted in vastly more take-all in the Devon trial than min-till, probably because the more open seed-bed favours the disease, says Masstocks David Langton.

&#8226 Consort better than Claire.

&#8226 Deben & Napier also good.

&#8226 Take-all not always factor.

&#8226 Min-till counters the disease.