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Cereals Disease Force – round three, mid-May, Essex

The Disease Force visited the Essex case study for the third and final time

Syngenta has teamed up with Farmers Weekly to deliver #DiseaseForce, bringing you the latest insight on crop development and cereal disease updates from three regions across England.

The third and final round of three on-farm visits saw the Syngenta team join the farmers and their agronomists, as well as independent experts from NIAB TAG, in seeing the progress since the last visit in mid-April.   

Visit two – John Haynes, MJ and SC Collins, Essex

When we visited John earlier this week, 20mm of rain had just fallen overnight with a further 30 to 35mm due later that day.

Although the wet weather was welcomed, conditions have been so dry that John was quick to point out that it would only just touch the surface. For the past four weeks, he has been irrigating 300ha of wheat across the farm, and plans to carry on with irrigation despite the rain.

The unseasonably dry March and April has meant that John has readjusted yield predictions down by 20 to 25% in wheat crops and 15% in barley crops. But, John and his agronomists Andrew Blazey, have made it clear that they have not cut back with rates at key spray times. First wheats still have potential and there is value in protecting what they’ve got.

Following our last visit in April, T1’s were applied as planned, with a T1.5 also used across 180ha of the most fertile and disease susceptible areas during the second week of May. The aim of this was to protect leaf two and allow more flexibility with T2 timings.

When we visited John, flag leaves were fully emerged in some varieties, and T2 sprays were imminent. This year, for the first-time John will be using ELATUSTM ERA across 200ha of forward first wheats with the value of these crops well worth protecting with proven SDHI technology.


With the recent rain there is the risk of a late flush of disease, and with Septoria present in some varieties where crops are thick, it must be kept on top of to ensure crop yields aren’t further hampered.  


To catch up on the findings at the third and final visits, follow the links below: