Wheat growers in Suffolk are flat out with T3 fungicide sprays this week, with high levels of septoria and yellow rust ever present in crops.
Michael Craske, who farms 720ha of arable and grassland just outside Hadleigh with his brother, says T3 applications on his winter wheat are going on three weeks after T2s and he is taking no chances with disease.
This year he is growing the varieties Skyfall, Evolution, Horatio and Reflection and expects to have ear sprays completed by the end of this week.
Mr Craske tells Farmers Weekly that wheat disease are a big threat this year, despite getting T0, T1 and T2 spray timings bang on.
“We applied Cherokee (cyproconazole + propiconazole + chlorothalonil) at 1 litre/ha for the T0, and used an SDHI at T1 and T2 but have still had trouble with yellow rust because it’s been mild and wet,” he says.
“Both yellow rust and septoria have been a battle this year. The Skyfall and Evolution are looking clean but the Horatio and Reflection are less so,” Mr Craske adds.
For the T3 fungicide spray, Mr Craske is applying the “worst case” scenario spray to all four varieties as an insurance policy.
He has opted for a three-way mix of prothioconazole at 0.3 litres/ha and tebuconazole at 0.5 litres/ha, plus a strobilurin to top up the defence against yellow rust.
“T3 is an insurance against mycotoxins and helps to boost the T2 spray. This will hopefully keep the crop green and makes sure that yellow rust doesn’t come back with a vengeance,” he says.