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'No benefit' to marginal sprays where rhynchosporium risk is low in spring crops

Three years’ worth of trials across five sites in Scotland found that yield responses to GS30/31 applications were unlikely in low risk scenarios. 

In winter barley crops, T1 applications are effective in retaining tillers and maintaining yield potential, but for spring crops there could be no benefit to marginal sprays where rhynchosporium risk is low.

 

This is according to Prof Fiona Burnett, professor of applied plant pathology at Scotland’s Rural College and chair of the Fungicide Resistance Action Group, speaking during a web meeting organised by BASF.

 

 


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Rhynchosporium

 

With often less than a fortnight between T1 and booting sprays (T2), growers can benefit from the fact rhynchosporium needs two-three weeks to cycle, she said.

 

Three years’ worth of trials across three-five sites in Scotland found that yield responses to GS30/31 applications were unlikely in low risk scenarios.

 

The varieties Fairing (with a rhynchosporium resistance rating of 6) and Concerto (4) showed no yield benefit where a T1 + T2 spray was applied, compared to just a T2 application (see table).

 

 

YIELD RESPONSES TO T1 AND T2 FUNGICIDE APPLICATIONS IN SPRING BARLEY:

 

Fungicide

Concerto

Fairing

Response

Untreated

6

6.49

 

T1

6.22

6.68

0.21

T2

6.54

7.05

0.56

T1+T2

6.62

7.01

0.57

T1.5+T2

6.62

7.03

0.58

Source: SRUC

Benefit

 

Prof Burnett said: “The T2 is bringing more like 0.6tonnes/hectare, but you do not get any more with a T1 + T2. Most of that yield benefit for a spring crop is coming at that second timing.

 

“The more susceptible variety, Concerto gave the biggest yield response to T1, particularly at Lanark, the wettest trials site. It shows how we can be smart at targeting fungicides to be more efficient. It really depends on the amount of rhynchosporium present at the start of stem extension and the risk of it spreading.”

 

She added: “There is clearly a lot of nervousness about leaving crops wide open to early disease, but where we have got resistant varieties where they were late drilled and growing rapidly and low rain forecast there is scope to reduce what we’re doing and minimise that T1 timing.”

Ramularia

 

For ramularia, Prof Burnett said the UK is in a ‘tricky position’ after varietal resistance ratings were withdrawn.

 

She said: “This season we will probably be using CTL at T1 in spring crops if it comes before that May 20 cut off. For T2 there may be a few winter crops that come in that, but I doubt it.

 

“The use of CTL early on is very variable in what it does for ramularia, so much of disease pressure comes from later in the season but certainly for this year it’ll be a one-off recommendation.”

 

“Revystar XE has shown good efficacy, better than prothioconazole, but we need to watch cut-off dates.”

Reducing crop stress is likely to play a greater role in managing ramularia risk, she added.

 

“We will probably be using folpet which is described as having variable effects on ramularia - a lot of what we see the focus on is around destressing the crop rather than direct control as such. Anything that helps the crop to destress is likely to be helpful.”

Biggest spring barley area in decades

The UK spring barley area could be its highest in 30 years according to Murielle Moille, cereal fungicide campaign manager at BASF, who is expecting to see a 30 per cent increase on last year’s area compared to AHDB’s 47 per cent increase prediction.

In a survey of 84 growers, 80 per cent of respondents said they were growing spring barley this year compared to 33 per cent growing spring wheat. The survey, conducted by BASF also found that 59 per cent of farmers are expecting to spend less on chemical inputs this season due to lower yield expectations from winter wheat, despite the fact 37 per cent said spring barley was their most profitable crops. Only 12 per cent said their spend would depend on disease pressure.

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