Septoria is rife
SEPTORIA has hit this seasons winter wheat three times harder than last year in what has turned out to be the worst epidemic since 1985.
First results from the annual MAFF-funded CSL/ADAS disease survey show Septoria tritici is now the dominant disease in the crop, slashing an estimated 3.5% off yields and costing the nation £40m.
Brown rust is also slightly worse than last year, trimming returns by a further £1m. But mildew has been less troublesome than in 1997.
The figures highlight the importance of considering disease resistance when choosing varieties, especially when fungicide spraying is difficult because of poor weather, says the CSLs Nigel Hardwick.