• OILSEED rape growers in France are being encouraged to sow the crop as early as July, especially where slurry or FYM is used. "It gives it more time to absorb nitrogen," says CETIOMs Bernard Soum. On average, 62kg/ha more is taken up on medium to high soil N sites. Slug problems are less and yields often higher, however, phoma risk is raised, he adds.
• BASFS new strobilurin F500 (pyraclostrobin) gets a thumbs up from ITCF. "It is better than the best on septoria which is Ogam – your Landmark," says Claude Maumene. Septoria-susceptible varieties treated with 60% epoxiconazole or epoxiconazole plus kresoxim-methyl formulations averaged 0.5t/ha more than Landmark treated plots in the French research organisations trials.
• SYNGENTAs new strobilurin, picoxystrobin, sets a new standard in net blotch and rhynchosporium control, outshining both Amistar (azoxystrobin) and Twist (trifloxystrobin), says ITCF. It is also strong on septoria but comparison with pyraclostrobin cannot be made yet because it is a straight formulation and ITCF is not expecting it to be available until 2003, says ITCFs Claude Maumene. "We will recommend it with a triazole."
• LATITUDE (silthiofam), Mon-santos recently released take-all seed treatment looked to have the edge on Aventiss Jockey (fluquinconazole + prochloraz) in ITCF trials, say Morley advisers Peter Riley and Andrew Blazey. "The Latitude plots were a lot better."
• EYE in the sky technology has proved itself on 60 farms in the Champagne-Ardennes region, says ITCF agronomist Lancelot Leroy. Aircraft imaging of wheat reliably predicted nitrogen need, yield, grain protein content and lodging risk. "It could be very useful for farmers, agronomists, grain storers and governments." Satellites are hoped to replace planes in 2005, allowing the service to be offered globally.