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Rust Pressure Remains High in Wheat Crops - Ben Pledger - Farmers Weekly

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Ear emergence in forward winter wheat crops has coincided with the wet, thundery weather a fortnight ago.  Even with high disease pressure this spring, most crops are showing good potential after the robust fungicide programmes that have been used to date.

With that in mind, the option to go cheap and cheerful with the T3 fungicide has been ruled out.  Prothioconazole has been the go to chemistry to control both fusarium species and Microdochium nivale.

A strobilurin active ingredient has been included for improved control of rusts, Septoria nodorum and sooty moulds and also to prolong green leaf area retention.

Unless you are planning on spraying areas of high populations off, whole cropping or hand rouging, there is little you can do about problem areas this season.

Now is the time to start your blackgrass control strategies for next year though.  There are a number of relatively inexpensive cultural controls that can be employed before you even think about reaching for a can of chemical.

These include increasing seed rates, choosing a competitive variety, delaying drilling, extending rotations and using stale seed-beds.

Other measures include cleaning out combines between blocks, planning harvesting to reduce the spread of seed around the farm and making sure contractors enter the farm with clean machinery.

Delayed drilling can lead the way to create stale seed-beds to kill off flushes of blackgrass before the crop is even sown.  All fairly standard advice, which can be overlooked in the rush of harvest.  Make a plan now and stick to it where possible.