Mixed weather provides timing challenges on wheat

This season got off to a dry start. However, recent mixed weather has provided challenges in the spraying season and for fungicide applications in particular.

Applying fungicide at the most economical timing is essential, but all factors have to be taken into account when spraying.

For example, this season many farmers who sprayed before leaf 3 was fully emerged at T1 might not have sprayed at the exact timing recommended, but moving early meant that disease was not allowed to develop as rain fell at the T1 timing for many.

Applying an intermediate fungicide

As unsettled weather continues a sensible option is to apply a T1.5 fungicide to these winter wheat crops.

Chlorothalonil at a rate of 1L/ha will keep disease at bay between T1 and T2 and take some pressure off if unsettled weather persists when T2 needs to be applied – when the flag leaf is fully emerged.

Colder weather may also contribute to a slow down of growth and so the time between T1 and T2 may be prolonged. A T1.5 will provide extra cover in this period.

On crops with high yield potential a T1.5 gives good protection and, in a time when chemistry needs to be protected, it can also help in the battle against resistance.

The early days of next week are expected to see more settled weather take hold, but recent days have provided ideal conditions for disease.