Take-all tactic for 2000 plus
A PROMISING take-all control seed treatment from Monsanto will not be commercially available before the turn of the century.
"The market for it is likely to be in 2000 plus," says firms Neil Stafford who blames registration problems for the delay in launching its product coded MON 65500.
By then its significance could be increased, he suggests. "Under Agenda 2000 it looks as though more wheat will be grown." That could increase the risk of take-all.
Live with disease
In theory growers can learn to live with the disease which reaches a peak and then falls away over several years of wheat following wheat. "But farmers, especially on heavier soils, say they cannot afford to go through take-all decline. It hits them too hard financially. And on some soils there is no such thing.
"We see our product as enabling technology which should allow them to grow continuous wheat. But more work needs to be done to determine optimum tactics."
"It doesnt give complete control," comments consultant John Spink, who has tested the treatment at ADAS Rosemaund. "But there is evidence that it delays the onset of the disease."
Recent seasons have not been particularly bad for take-all because of the cold winters and dry springs, he notes. But treatment of a third wheat in the 1996 harvest lifted its output by about 0.75t/ha (0.3t/acre). "It brought it back up to the first wheat yield. It was a very good result," says Mr Spink.