6 September 2002

Trials point to better control of take-all in barley

TAKE-ALLS potential impact on barley and the scope for seed treatment to reduce that damage has been highlighted by ARC work this year.

In one trial, Pearl with a basic seed dressing showed a take-all index of 34.3 and yielded 5.4t/ha (2.2t/acre). The addition of Latitude (silthiofam) reduced the severity of infection by nearly 40%, to an index of 21.4, and boosted yield by 0.83t/ha.

In other ARC trials, treatment also reduced take-all severity, producing non-statistically significant yield increases of 0.25-0.82t/ha.

Many winter barley crops have been suffering since the spring, so poor yields are no surprise, says ARC research co-ordinator Nick Poole. "There appear to be a number of factors responsible for the disappointing barley yields, the principal culprit being take-all, which has been visually apparent since early April.

"Weve seen high levels of take-all on barley roots since the spring. This may have resulted from high autumn temperatures encouraging the disease. The one thing that could have helped the situation was nitrogen uptake, but this was delayed by the extremely dry conditions we had in April."

The fact that October-drilled winter barley outyielded September sowings by 0.65t/ha also suggests some degree of take-all control through later drilling, says Mr Poole. &#42