Innovation Centre Update May 2023

Innovation Centres

Winter Wheat Trials and Disease Control

T2 treatments and PGR top-ups are being applied to winter wheat to maintain crop standing and combat diseases.

With the weather finally on the turn to warmer drier conditions, the Syngenta trialists can now focus on applying the T2’s in winter wheat. With the crops looking thick and healthy, some of the T2’s may require a PGR top up of an ethephon based product to keep the crops standing, especially at our Kilham Innovation Centre.

Challenges in Yellow Rust Management and Varietal Differences

Yellow rust management has been challenging, especially at the Newark site, emphasising the need for effective control strategies and varietal differences.

Most wheat crops across the sites are at GS37-39.


An increase in Septoria tritici has been seen across all sites following the recent rains, so a robust fungicide programme is being applied to try to stop this disease and yellow rust from spreading. The fungicides are going to have to work hard to maintain green leaf area.

Our Newark site is a light land site and has seen plenty of yellow rust this season, with the lowest rated varieties being hit very hard. This was exacerbated by the delay in T1 applications due to the weather conditions. The variety screen here is showing great differences in Septoria and rust control where the low input fungicide programme is performing the worst. This just goes to demonstrate that a low input programme in this particularly wet spring, is not always the best option.






Barley Trials and Crop Stress Management

Winter barley crops show promise, but net blotch and increased crop height pose challenges, requiring effective stress management strategies.

The winter barleys are looking well across the sites, but there has been some net blotch appear at the Rougham site in some of the plots, and also some brown rust and Rhynchosporium on the lowers leaves at Kilham, especially after all the rain.

In the barley PGR comparison trial there has been a big increase in crop height which could result in some lodging later in the season – one to keep an eye on! This trial should give us some good insights.

Alongside the fungicide work at Kilham, there is a big focus on biologicals in mix with fungicide programmes, and biostimulants are being applied to help minimise crop stress. Not very visual until later in the season or possibly not until harvested…. Watch this space!

In our nitrogen trials, all applications have been applied across the Rougham and Newark sites, and with the recent rains, this has meant that the crops are now very lush and green and growing away quickly. It will be interesting to see which plots may be at risk from lodging! No differences seen at present.

The weather conditions have been conducive to lush, green and taller crops, and if growers have not applied suitable PGR programmes, there could be a few lodged crops at the end of the season!

The drilling of the spring barley plots at Rougham were only completed on 5 May this year. This trial has varieties with and without seed treatments and Syngenta’s new nitrogen fixing endophyte, Nuello iN.

Across all sites, Syngenta are looking at Nitrogen Use Efficiency (NUE). Varieties of wheat and barley have had a seed treatment with and without Nuello iN. Nuello iN fixes nitrogen within the plant and can either replace up to 30 kg N or be in addition to their nitrogen regime.