Know How / Disease management

Get advice on managing disease in wheat, barley, oilseed rape, potatoes, and sugar beet. Find the best ways to combine cultural and chemical controls and how to deal with fungicide resistance. See tips, insights and farmer case studies focusing on major disease threats such as septoria, yellow rust, ramularia, phoma leaf spot and blight and how to combat them.

Advice and tips


Why wildflowers could cut aphid-spread viruses in potatoes

Wildflowers grown in strips through potato crops could control disease-carrying aphids and may help growers faced with a dwindling number of insecticides. Areas of wildflowers grown in the headlands and…


Tips to minimise potato storage spoilage losses

Potato growers have entered some uncharted waters, as they cope with without using the desiccant diquat. In addition, spuds are now being loaded into store, with no prospect of treatment…


4 cultural techniques for controlling BYDV in cereals

Barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) is an aphid transmitted disease which can severely reduce the yield of cereals and grasses, with severe cases losing up to 60% of yield. With…


How to prepare for ergot limits in cereals for harvest 2021

Growers need to prepare for new regulations covering maximum limits on ergot in cereals, to avoid loads being rejected by millers and merchants from harvest 2021 onwards.  The current 0.05%…

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Case studies


Virus-tolerant barleys could offer insecticide-free future

Virus-tolerant winter barley varieties could be the way forward to avoid spraying insecticides in the autumn, but there are some doubts about whether these varieties give good enough yields and…


Wheat variety assessed for ability to cut fungicide costs

One big farming company is hoping that growing the more disease-resistant winter wheat variety Extase will help it fine-tune fungicide spending this spring. Sentry grew 100ha of the variety last…


How two wheat growers cut their fungicide bills below £70/ha

Two Herefordshire wheat growers spent less than £70/ha on fungicides last year and still yielded over 11t/ha even in the disease-prone wetter west of England. Both took part in a…


How Berks wheat grower increased his yields by 20%

Tissue testing has helped Berkshire wheat grower Dan Willis push his yields up to 20% higher while his resulting healthier crops has seen him cut his fungicide costs. Checking his…

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Is there still a need for costly wheat seed treatments?

Cereal growers are increasingly questioning the need for chemical seed treatments as they continue to improve soil health, encourage soil biology and drive down costs. With autumn drilling under way,…


Four new potato products offer hope to growers

A range of new potato products will soon be available to growers, equipping them with an improved chemical armoury to control blight, weeds and soil-borne pests. More than 10 actives…


Can wheat blends raise yields and cut disease control costs?

Growing different blends of wheat varieties can increase yields while reducing disease pressure, enabling farmers to cut the number of fungicide applications, suggests new Danish research. The landmark research, carried out by…


What research is being done to tackle virus yellows in beet

High levels of virus yellows are starting to show in sugar beet crops following what one sugar beet expert calls “unprecedented levels of aphids” during spring. Aphids were migrating from…

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Potato growers get one more season with key seed treatment

Growers can use a key seed treatment to manage black scurf in potatoes for one more planting season, allowing time to try out an alternative approach. The Chemicals Regulation Division…


Wet weather triggers early onset of phoma in OSR

Recent warm and wet weather has heightened the risk of phoma in winter rapeseed, with some crops already displaying symptoms in 10% of the crop, according to the AHDB’s disease…


Digital tool advises when to spray crops with 85% accuracy

Growers and agronomists have a new digital tool to assess crop pests and diseases and suggest the best time to spray, up to four days in advance, with 85% accuracy.…


Growers warned early seed potato harvest raises dry rot risk

Seed potato growers are being warned about the higher risk of dry rot this season, as the Scottish harvest begins a fortnight ahead of normal. According to the AHDB, the…

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Video: Phone app is cheaper way to monitor crops with a drone

A new smartphone app offers farmers a cheaper and easier way to monitor their crops, simply with a mobile phone and a cheap drone. Developed by Northumbria-based Drone Ag, the…


Video: Early potato harvest start is worst for 40 years

Brothers Peter and Philip Le Maistre are sixth-generation Jersey farmers and for them this potato season has been the worst since covering spuds with plastic started to be used on…


Video: Jersey early potato yields dip 20% after frosty February

Jersey’s early potato harvest is almost a month late this spring, with yields expected to be down one-fifth after the Beast from the East frosted off young plants barely out…


Video: Crop Doctor sees septoria rising to worrying levels

Disease levels are rising in the nation’s wheat crops with the wet weather likely to encourage septoria to spread and put growers on alert to make sure their fungicide programmes…

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Expert advice on maximising OSR yields in a difficult season

After such a wet autumn and winter, the big question over oilseed rape this spring is: "What can farmers do to maximise yields in a very difficult season for oilseed…

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