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Sclerotinia risk hots up

Rising soil temperatures will increase the potential for sclerotinia infections in oilseed rape crops over the next three to four weeks, growers are being advised.


Abby   Kellett

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Abby   Kellett
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Sclerotinia risk hots up as soil temperatures increase #diseasecontrol #osr

Rising soil temperatures will increase the potential for sclerotinia infections in oilseed rape crops over the next three to four weeks, growers are being advised.


While the risk has been low up until now, with soils too cold to trigger significant spore release, warmer, more stable temperatures mean infection pressure is escalating rapidly, according to Syngenta.


Infection outbreaks generally occur when infected petals fall and stick onto the main stem of the plant, a process which is still to come for most OSR crops.


This can be further exacerbated where cabbage stem flea beetle (CSFB) larvae have caused damage to the plant, creating an entry point for infection.

 

See also: Early disease control and nitrogen key to preserving OSR potential


In response to the threat, James Southgate, Syngenta field technical manager, is urging growers to treat crops now, if they have not already applied a sclerotinia treatment.


“There is still ample soil moisture and damp conditions within the crop canopy to allow infection to develop. All sclerotinia fungicides work most effectively when applied prior to infection,” he advises.

 


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With light leaf spot infection present on the lower leaves of many OSR crops, along with the effects of CSFB damage, plants are suffering from damaged plant material at the base of the crop canopy.

 

Syngenta believes this will create ideal conditions for sclerotinia to spread and so advocate using high water volumes and angled nozzles to provide adequate protection to the base of the canopy.

 

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