12th September 2022

Watch your early drilled crops for growth stage and not physical appearance

Due to the mild winter and spring, some of the early drilled crops are moving rapidly through the early growth stages. In this situation it is important to apply your fungicide and PGR products in relation to the growth stage of the crop and not the appearance of the crop!

The advice from the agronomy team at Limagrain is to use a knife to determine exact growth stage by dissection, and not by calendar date or physical size of the crops, when planning PGR and fungicide applications.

PGR timing: PGRs should be applied according to apical development stages, with the key timing for CCC based products at the ‘glume-lemma’ stage. The best way to identify this stage is by dissection, however targeting PGRs when the first node is starting to move off the base (Zadoks 30) is acceptable for those unfamiliar with dissection techniques.

Fungicides: Due to the very mild winter and spring, high levels of disease have been found in some crops. “Over 50% of the wheat in the ground this year is susceptible to yellow rust and over 75% susceptible to brown rust. Higher than usual levels of mildew have also been found and we must not be complacent about the most notorious, yield robbing disease Septoria tritici,” says Ron Granger, wheat breeder for Limagrain UK.

“The correct assessment of both the varietal disease profile and the crops situation on the farm must be taken into account when planning this season’s fungicide programmes. It is essential that the T0 and T1 fungicide treatments are both robust and correctly targeted, to be efficient at maintaining a healthy crop through the spring period.”

“Today’s grower has the choice of very effective chemistry to choose from to ensure a healthy crop, and depending on the risk associated with the variety being grown, the balance of costs involved should be weighed up. However my view is that it is far more cost effective to keep a crop canopy healthy by preventative applications at the early growth stages than to apply curative or preventative treatments at the later stages of crop development, and find yourself chasing disease for the rest of the season,” he advises.

For more information or to speak to one of the team please contact us on 01472 371471.

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