Winter wheat crops in south-east England are getting an early T3 fungicide spray this year, as plants surge towards flowering stage.
Sussex-based independent agronomist David Jones says growers need to be primed and ready to spray within the narrow control window once the ear has fully emerged.
“Between 80-90% of the early wheat varieties such as Crusoe and Skyfall are now fully emerged in the Sussex area. I know that some Gallant and Cordiale winter wheat crops have already had their T3 spray because they are now at risk,” he says.
With the potential for heavy rain on Friday, Mr Jones is still worried about the threat of fusarium, but brown rust is also proving troublesome for southern growers this year.
“We find down here that there’s quite a pocket of brown rust bubbling up, particularly on the Crusoe. I’ve been recommending growers go in with a prothioconazole and tebuconazole mix to protect against fusarium and a pyraclostrobin like Comet for the brown rust.”
Meanwhile in Lincolnshire, crops are slightly further behind on ear emergence at growth stage 55-56.
Agronomist Sean Sparling anticipates wheat crops reaching flowering stage by the second half of next week.
“If it turns wet on flowering then we’ll be itching to get into the fields for a T3 spray,” he says.
Mr Sparling says he will be inclined to use a 1 litre/ha (250g/ha of active) dosage of tebuconazole fungicide for his T3 spray, but insists application timing is the most crucial factor.
“I can’t stress enough how timing and robust dosage is more important that the product you are using at this stage,” he says.
Recent work by FERA confirmed applying the T3 at mid-flower (GS63) is the optimum timing.