Crop Watch: diseases on the rise as gales stop fieldwork

As wet and windy weather puts an abrupt stop to fieldwork, FWi’s agronomists report increasing disease pressure in the run-up to the T0 fungicide timing.

“Cereal diseases have started to manifest themselves quite well and we are starting to see differences depending on variety and drilling date,” Neil Potts said.

Most wheat varieties in his part of Devon were showing good levels of septoria, with early drilled fields “going quite yellow with the disease”. The only variety showing significantly less septoria was Gatsby, he noted.

As David Cairns wrote his report on Monday, rain and gales were lashing Northumberland. “I wonder what I am doing trying to look at spring fungicides,” he said.

“We are hoping to get T0 on to all our winter barley and winter wheat, as this reduces the pressure on the T1 spray for both crops and saves such hefty tank mixes.”

Essex-based Andrew Blazey said there were increasing reports of brown and yellow rust and some forward wheats were carrying low levels of mildew that would need treating at T0.

Poor weather meant a lot of Atlantis (iodosulfuron + mesosulfuron) applications were still outstanding, he said. “As we approach T0 this should ideally be done on its own without tank mix partners to get the best from it on what is generally very large blackgrass. Additional products in the tank may reduce efficiency.”

ProCam’s Nick Brown reminded growers not too exceed the “four week rule” when deciding the best time to go on with the T0 spray. “Leaf three, the correct T1 time, will emerge around the 14-21 April so the T0 spray doesn’t want to go on until the week starting 17 March at the earliest.”

Forward oilseed rape crops were into stem extension and many had a Green Area Index above one, so would shortly receive an application of metconazole for growth regulation and canopy management, he added.

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