With increasing pressure to retain the performance of current actives, and a tight year expected financially, disease control this season requires a rethink. Jo Learmonth reports.
With the backdrop of resistance issues and withdrawal of pesticides, particularly the loss of chlorothalonil (CTL), growers attending the AHDB/SRUC Agronomy 2020 meeting in Inverurie were urged to compensate for the inevitable yield losses by adopting integrated pest management (IPM) options.
Prof Fiona Burnett, SRUC told the audience of arable farmers, agronomists and industry: “These other more sustainable ways of managing our crops is where we have to be. Clearly it is where the political direction is pointing but actually, where our own necessity sits as well.”
Dr Neil Havis, SRUC agreed: “We need to do everything possible to reduce the disease risk and the reliance on fungicides. We need to consider a whole range of factors: varieties, certified seed, rotations, sowing dates, monitoring surveillance, crop walking, maximising the use of the lowest fungicides as partners while we have them, minimum effective dose, balanced mixtures and limiting use, and alternating chemistry where possible. Fungicide resistance is everyone’s problem.”
With resistance challenges continuing to build, Dr Havis added: “Some mutations of septoria are starting to overwinter so we may face an issue from this in 2020. There was a big decrease in SDHI efficacy against septoria from 2017-2018, however, inexplicably, no further decline was seen in 2018-2019.”