Fungicide research helps fight wheat disease

By Catherine Boal

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Wheat

The field performance of fungicides used to prevent the spread of
foliar disease in wheat has decreased significantly within the last
decade, according to UK cereal association, the Home Grown Cereals
Authority (HGCA).

This week, the HGCA issued new information on controlling the destructive Septoria Tritici disease and, after testing the main preventative practices, has urged farmers not to solely rely on fungicides but to vary active ingredients and spray programmes to maximise their effects. Septoria commonly occurs in wheat during the early autumn growing season. It causes discolouration and lesions on crop leaves and can be seen in crops worldwide but is of particular concern in the UK. Controlling the disease in winter wheat is a problem for farmers and a growing concern due to the declining effectiveness of the two major fungicides - azoles and strobilurins. HGCA director of research Professor Graham Jellis said: "Even the best active ingredients are now substantially less effective when applied at doses below label dose. However performance appears to be stabilising. "Recent results suggest that growers should base Septoria control on an effective azole applied at robust doses in a 2 or 3 spray programme, the main sprays being normally T1 or T2." ​ The HGCA tested the main azole-containing fungicides and discovered that performance varied enormously between the different concentrations and varieties. Professor Jellis recommended the fungicides Prothiconazole and Epoxiconazole in conjunction with chlorothalonil as most effective in controlling the Septoria disease. In addition, the HGCA noted that Strobilurins remained useful for spraying crop ears and treating rust activity caused by the disease.

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