Suspected cases of tan spot in wheat crops could in fact be drought stress, according to Bill Clark of Broom’s Barn.
Several samples had been sent to him with a query over tan spot, he told FW. “They were pretty convincing but, after looking under a microscope, they’re not.”
Instead he thinks it could be drought stress. “I walked round our drought trials today, which have over 120 varieties, and about 10 varieties had similar symptoms really badly. It looks like a disease, but it’s not.”
Analysis of which varieties are particularly affected is now under way at Broom’s Barn, he said.
An appeal has been granted to overturn the European Commission’s withdrawal of napropamide, an annual grass and broadleaved weed killer that can be used in oilseed rape, brassicas, strawberries and cane fruit, made by United Phosphorus.
The commission had banned the substance on environmental grounds, but a hearing at the European Court of First Instance in Luxembourg has ruled in favour of an interim relief order permitting its use until 7 May 2010.
Andrew Kirk and his wife Janet, who run a mixed farm with 556ha of arable at Barkby, Leicestershire, have won a trip to New York in a competition about Dow AgroSciences’ herbicide Broadway Star (pyroxulam + florasulam).
The mixed farm allows them reduce input costs and spread risks, but volunteer ryegrass, a target for the new herbicide, can be “a real headache”, he says.