With sales of chlorothalonil due to finish on 20th November, this autumn will mark the last opportunity to buy this exceptionally useful active ingredient for use next spring prior to 20th May.
Therefore, it is essential that growers ensure they are covered now for their requirements for the most effective multi-fungicide for next spring, says Dr David Ellerton, technical development director of Hutchinsons.
We have not got as many apples and plums as last year, but the pears are pretty good. The rain over summer has helped the wheat and barley harvests and also the fern growth on our asparagus which is much bigger than last season.
As we've only got a small area, we're able to practice good crop hygiene and remove all the old fern and reduce the amount of inoculum on the old stems so our stem-phylium levels are very low.
Dr Alison Lees, a research leader for AHDB-funded research into late blight at the James Hutton Institute in Dundee speaks to Heather Briggs about this year's Fight Against Blight.
“We have currently received 576 samples from 86 blight outbreaks this season, with more arriving every day due to the weather conditions being favourable for late blight in large parts of the country through July and into August," she says.
With light leaf spot causing greater issues for brassica growers over the winter, the Syngenta Brassica Alert disease warning system is now spore trapping for the pathogen – to provide valuable notification of risks, to better manage spray timing.
Managed by the Allium & Brassica Centre, Brassica Alert forecasts pathogen risks through a combination of weather data and active spore trapping for ringspot, white blister and now light leaf spot at sites in Lincolnshire.
After a number of relatively low disease risk seasons wetter weather this spring and summer has put crops under considerable disease pressure, particularly Septoria in wheat and Ramularia in barley
This has exposed the decline in performance of current fungicide chemistry, particularly triazoles and SDHIs, and has shown the vital importance of early disease protection using multi–sites, particularly chlorothalonil.
Many growers have found this out to their detriment, realising too late the very limited curative activity of current products should Septoria be allowed to get established in the crop.
With rust and mildew about, the first beet fungicides are going on.
The open gardens went well and we had some lovely comments, although thanks must really go to the previous owners as we are only trying to maintain what they laid out.
In many things, timing is everything and, luckily for us, the moles that have since plagued us came after open gardens. We didn't see any last year – the garden flooded a couple of times so I think that kept numbers down – but now it is a bit like the Jasper Carrot sketch from many years ago – a good listen for those who've never heard it.
We're pleased to announce that our article on the value of an integrated approach amid higher disease pressure was the second most-read story on Agronomist & Arable Farmer's website in July.
The article focuses on the value of using a robust fungicide programme and selecting varieties with good resistance, sharing Helen Brown, Stewart MacIntyre and Bob Bulmer’s key insights from the Carlisle RTC event.
With a focus on good soil health, herbicides, insecticides, biostimulants, fungicides, and nutrition, Hutchinsons’ second brassica demonstration day was held Old Leake, Boston, on July 11 in conjunction with the Allium & Brassica Centre.
The aim of the plots is to refine understanding of soil health, including exploring novel approaches for vegetable farming, such as strip-till and cover crops, explained Hutchinsons area business manager Will Sharpe.
“We plan to provide vegetable growers with a leading source of information on brassicas,” he said, pointing out that the trials field was very typical of the area, with similar soils being found around the horse-shoe area of south Lincolnshire and north Norfolk. “By setting up demonstration plots, people can see what works in these fields, and then make decisions on whether they might work at home for them.”
Just as we were starting to shout for rain up in Cumbria, our usual weather patterns returned. We have now had a few very wet weeks, causing some quick growth in all crops, and are hoping the rain knows how to stop again.
Winter cereals are now all out in ear and the last of the T3 fungicides are being applied in winter wheat.
In general, winter wheat and barley are looking well and the gates are being shut until harvest time.
Growers are being advised to consider late season fungicide programmes carefully amid reports of low disease pressure this year.
Moderate disease levels in wheat due to the hot, dry summer in 2018 generally resulted in cost-effective but lower yield responses to fungicide programmes than the previous season, says Hutchinsons technical director David Ellerton.
"Despite the dry conditions later in the season, the largest yield increases were often in response to the flag leaf or T2 timing in Hutchinsons small plot trials, although drought and subsequent early senescence reduced the response in many cases."