Applying the correct nutrition to keep crops healthy can significantly reduce disease levels in wheat, a demonstration suggested.
Nursery plots of 25 different wheat varieties set up by Neil Fuller, an independent nutrition specialist, had less disease when treated with nutrition based on manganese, magnesium and a phosphite product developed by Plant Syence than where the same varieties had been left untreated.
“These products are not going to replace fungicides, but they are helping the plant fight disease.”
In theory, applying the correct nutrition could enable growers to reduce fungicide inputs. But integrating nutrition and agronomy effectively could also increase yield, he said.
“In trials, we’ve seen an extra 0.6-0.7t/ha on top of a fungicide programme from applying the correct nutrition.”
A third nursery plot section demonstrated that nutrition plus a biological Bacillus product in place of the phosphite also reduced disease levels. “It wouldn’t be enough in conventional crops, but this is an organic system, which could give those growers more opportunity to support good varieties.”