Two-spray PGR strategy could pay dividends

Adopting a two-spray strategy for lodging control in winter wheat and winter barley instead of one may prove more valuable this season, with moderate lodging losses equated to £255/ha.

Trials carried out by ADAS show a two-spray strategy on both crops was more effective at reduced stem and root lodging compared with the common approach of a single treatment at GS30/31.

The trials compared conventional single sprays of PGR at GS31 and PGRs at GS37/39 (T2), or a sequence using both these dates.

A range of PGR products available on the market were used, but the best results were when Moddus (trinexapac-methyl) + chlormequat was applied ay GS31, followed by Cerone (2-chloroethylphosphonic acid) at T2, according to Pete Berry, project leader and principal consultant at ADAS.

Dr Berry says the two-spray sequence increased the varietal lodging resistance scores by the equivalent of 1.6 in barley and by 2 to 3 in wheat. “Such increases greatly improve the standing power of both crops,” he adds.

Moderate lodging can wipe 20% off yields and also adversely affect straw quality, he explains. “Putting this in monetary terms, at a grain value of just £150/t, this loss from the moderate lodging of an 8.5t/ha crop is around £255/ha.”

Moderate to severe lodging occurs about four years in 10, and spreading the costs and returns over that period will lead to an average £90/ha return from a £10/ha outlay on Cerone as the second PGR spray, Dr Berry calculates.

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