Don’t miss this month’s new look Arable Farming. Take a look at the digital edition today.
So, the politicians have tossed chlorothalonil out of the toolkit, leaving agronomists and growers, in the UK and Ireland in particular, facing the massive challenge of controlling septoria and ramularia, against a backdrop of rising resistance to single-site fungicides.
From an agronomic perspective, the UK arable sector will rise to the challenge, of that I am sure. But the impact on cost of production arising from the loss of this key crop protection active, and others that have also fallen by the wayside in recent months, has yet to be seen and is a cause for concern as we look to a future outside the EU.
Of course, CTL is not the only multi-site on the market and in this issue we take a look at alternatives and what they can offer in terms of disease control and resistance management. We also examine how new varieties combining high septoria resistance scores with high yields and good grain quality are going to fit into cropping programmes. Will they enable fungicide costs to be cut, or will they deliver better margins with a reasonably robust fungicide programme? Read the experts’ views in our disease control feature.
Doing a bit of field walking recently, it struck me how dry the land was. Early spring dry spells strike fear into the hearts of heavy land growers trying to get spring crops established and away, so we could probably do with some well-timed rain soon. In the longer term, ensuring crops have access to sufficient moisture will be a key challenge for the industry in both environmental and economic terms. Possible solutions are already being researched and developed: improving soil health to boost its water holding capacity, breeding drought resistance into crops and improving their water use efficiency. For those growers with access to irrigation developments in ‘precision irrigation’ (PI), it could pave the way to making better use of available water. Catch up with the latest developments in this issue. And on a final note, in early March, Arable Farming’s parent company, AgriBriefing, launched a new campaign to promote the role of women in food and agriculture.
Arable Farming is proud to support the campaign and recognise the great work being done by women across the arable sector. Find out more about the campaign on Twitter @wearewfa or #WFA19.
If you are a woman working in arable agriculture we would love to hear from you and, if you are not, we hope you will encourage your female colleagues, friends and family members to get involved.