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Spring wheat: staying in control of disease

Agronomy Issues
06.05.2020

 

Reduced winter cereal plantings after the washout winter have seen a rise in spring wheat plantings this season.

Spring wheat may be lower-yielding than autumn/winter-planted wheat. However, with decent grain prices, it is worth managing it for its full yield potential – with AHDB Recommended List data suggesting some large differences between untreated and fungicide-treated yields. Grain quality is also important to protect if growing for milling.

 

Spring wheat AHDB Recommended List disease resistance ratings (1-9 scale)

 

Mulika

KWS Cochise

KWS Giraffe

KWS Chilham

KWS Talisker

Hexham

KWS Alderon

KWS Kilburn

Mildew

6

8

8

7

8

7

7

7

Yellow rust

7

5

6

7

9

9

6

5

Brown rust

5

7

5

4

3

5

7

[8]

Septoria tritici

6

6

6

7

6

7

6

6

Extract from the AHDB Recommended List Spring wheat (for spring sowing) 2020. Full information at https://ahdb.org.uk/rl

 

[ ] = Limited data

 

Unlike winter wheat, all spring wheat varieties on the AHDB recommended list are rated a 6 or 7 for Septoria tritici. This fact, combined with the lack of winter disease cycles to build inoculum in the base of the crop, means spring wheat is inherently a much lower risk for Septoria tritici than winter-sown wheat.

Seven of the eight spring wheat varieties on the AHDB recommended list are rated 5 or below for one or other of the rusts – either yellow or brown. Belepi, a winter wheat which is often sown in the spring, is also rated as 5 against yellow rust. 

In addition to variety susceptibility, spring wheat behaves a little like late-sown winter wheat in terms of disease risk. Consequently, it is no surprise that in the 2019 AHDB trials the dominant diseases in spring wheat were yellow rust and mildew.

Ideal spring weather conditions this season mean yellow rust is already widespread in winter wheat. If the right races are present, they could spread across.

As with winter wheat, prevention is better than cure for disease control: yellow rust can be hard to get on top of once it becomes established.

 

The balance of disease susceptibilities between Septoria tritici and rusts in most spring wheat varieties makes ELATUS ERA a strong choice as it is recognised for providing outstanding control of yellow and brown rust, as well as long-lasting protection against Septoria tritici. It can be applied once in the programme. To identify the optimum timing for your situation, use the table below:

 

Use of ELATUS ERA in spring wheat

Crop

Timing

Dose

Partner

Spring wheat

T2 (or T1)*

0.55-0.67 l/ha

+ multi-site (+ mildewicide if needed)

*Consider T1 if rust attack is early, otherwise T2