Fungicide options on tillage farms for this year

Tillage farmers have been given an update on their generic fungicide options for the coming year, courtesy of the presentation given by National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB) Director of Crops and Agronomy Stuart Knight at the recent Home Grown Cereals’ Authority Agronomists’ Conference for 2014.

His presentation detailed the latest fungicide performance figures from a cross section of UK field trials.

According to Knight, the relatively high disease pressures in 2014 tested the mettle of the products trialled, leading to good protectant and eradicant data. However, delegates were reminded of the importance of looking at several years’ data to iron out the influence of seasonal variation.

“For septoria tritici control in wheat, the continued decline in azole activity meant straight azoles remained somewhat off the pace set by the other products/active ingredients tested,” he said.

“The succinate dehydrogenase inhibitor (SDHI)/azole mixtures trialled were closely matched and largely superior to solo SDHIs, showing azoles can still play a useful role.

“The multi-site products tested also remained valuable as protectants, with an important role in resistance management.”

The NIAB representative went on to confirm that solo SDHIs tested in trials were also highly active but delegates were reminded that SDHIs should always be mixed with at least one fungicide with an alternative mode of action that has efficacy against the target pathogen.

“For brown rust control in wheat, the strobilurin fungicide Comet was considered to be the star of 2014. For yellow rust control in wheat, SDHI/azoles mixtures, Comet and straight azoles gave good control, while the straight SDHIs were weaker,” he said.

“For barley, the trials in 2014 saw greater differentiation between the solo SDHIs tested, with Imtrex performing relatively well, especially on rhynchosporium and net blotch. The SDHI/azole mixtures trialled also performed relatively well against the target diseases, Siltra Xpro and Adexar were consistent, whereas Vertisan plus Proline was slightly weaker on rhynchosporium protection in 2014.

Knight also highlighted  the importance on not relying on straight actives.

“Where trials were challenged by more than one disease, there was a yield benefit from the SHDH/azole mixtures compared to straights in addition to the important role of mixtures in resistance management,” he said.