25 April 1997

Watch out for fusarium

FUSARIUM must not be overlooked when drilling wheat late into poor seed-bed conditions.

That is the message from a trial at SAC Edinburgh using heavily infected seed drilled on Nov 8.

"The seed we used had a 48% fusarium nivale infection," says Simon Oxley, plant pathologist for SAC. "The untreated plot is disappointing, it is a crop failure and highlights the need for proper protection. Fusarium is not routinely tested for, so unless farmers are prepared to have the seed tested themselves, we would always recommend they use a seed treatment.

"There is no substitute for using clean seed, but if a farmer has to sow late in difficult conditions he should choose a reliable seed treatment.

In the SAC trial the Uniroyal product Anchor (carboxin + thiram) gave the best results.n