Testing conditions in South Wales
Steve Moss, Agrii agronomist
The South Wales R&D site focus on Winter Wheat and Winter Barley trials, in conjunction with Steve Earl who manages Oil Seed Rape Trials on an adjacent farm in the Vale.
What a difference a year makes! With Septoria control as our main challenge in the area, fungicide rates and timings are critical, as is choice of product. Last year was described as a low disease year – but on our site we averaged a 4t/Ha yield response to fungicides. This varied from 2t/Ha on Stigg, to 8t/Ha on Oakley.
With this in mind it was decided to set up a trial looking at fungicide programmes for Septoria control, in addition to our variety trials.
The dry spring put pressure on us from a yellow rust perspective, with Oakley and Torch breaking down very early in the untreated plots .T1 and T2 timings were delayed because of the weather and then Septoria hit us hard. At our Open Day on June 22nd Bill Angus, who joined us for the day, said he had never seen Septoria like it and would be keen to develop the site further!
The fungicide trials were given a visual inspection on the day by Agrii agronomist Tim Horton, who thought our high rate field treatment was the best. Within three weeks these plots were virtually dead, underlining the need for very robust treatments in this geography.
Next season we will look at programmes that are more in keeping with our local disease pressure. Bill Angus and Colin Lloyd will re-examine the varieties with inbuilt Septoria resistance and their responses to a fungicide programme.
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