Spring clean in the South West: Varieties with good resistance keep key diseases at bay

I try to make the most of every day of the best month of the year and on Friday I certainly did with crop walking in beautiful Dorset.

Septoria levels weren’t as high as I’d expected given that most crops had missed their T0s, but the fact they’d also missed their early nitrogen helped with keeping disease at bay.

It also helped that we were looking at varieties with relatively high septoria resistance ratings – a sensible option for growers in the South West, and a choice that pays off in years such as this where fungicide timings are missed.

One of the fields had yet to receive any fungicide, yet disease was only visible on leaf 5 with leaf 2 fully emerged.

In some fields the flag leaves were about 20% emerged, so it won’t be long until these will be due their T2 sprays.

We looked at just the one crop of winter barley, which again was a variety with a good disease package and looked very clean.

It was already at the ‘paintbrush’ stage, with the awns just poking out.

I took some back for the kitten and it kept him amused for a few minutes anyway!!

 

Catherine Garman

Catherine Garman

Catherine is Crop Health & Protection Scientist (Diseases) at AHDB

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