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Newark Innovation Centre - 2020 what a season!

Innovation Centres
01.06.2020

Now that our Syngenta Innovation Centres will be virtual webinars on certain agronomic topics and not a tour of each site, here is an update on the season so far at the Newark trials site…

Following the very wet autumn, the winter cereals at the Newark site were drilled on 31st October 2019 into difficult soil conditions (even though this is a light land site), and now the site is suffering drought stress.

The majority of the crops on the site are looking pretty healthy and are shooting through their growth stages (especially the spring barleys), but some of the winter wheat varieties are suffering from the hot/dry conditions of late with the flag leaf out and curling.

“T2 applications were made on 25th May 2020 to the winter wheat Adaptive Disease Management trial which has very little disease (if any) of note” commented Syngenta Field Technical Specialist, Andy Cunningham.

“The untreated (Skyfall – low yellow rust rating) was showing signs of old yellow rust scarring, but was hard to find much active pustules at the time of the T2 application (GS41), but now, after only 3 days, the yellow rust has developed rapidly and can now be easily found on the flag leaf.”

The Elatus Era plot is looking extremely clean, but a couple of the competitors are showing some yellow rust. See untreated below.

Untreated crops at Newark

The KWS Barrel (low rating for Septoria) winter wheat is un-characteristically clean, with only low levels of disease present, but the crop will still need to be protected because inevitably we will have rain at some point! And when we get that rain splash event the Septoria will be ready to move up the plant, if left unprotected.

All the winter wheats in this ADM trial have had a full fungicide programme of different products (Syngenta vs competitors) and timings.

How much more yield can be produced from keeping the leaves greener for longer? Andy is looking at how long different fungicides can retain green leaf area for. This trial will come into its own as the crop starts to die back, but no differences to report as yet. Time lapse cameras are being put in place to assess the differences.

Do biostimulants work and are they worth applying? Syngenta are looking at a new biostimulant and Andy has several trial plots looking at the cumulative effect of this biostimulant at different timings, being applied at GS25, GS32, GS39, GS41 and when the spring barley is in ear. Time lapse cameras are also being applied here.

Andy is also carrying out similar work in winter wheat and barley, where he is applying different dose rates, again cumulatively and again with time lapse cameras

Time lapse cameras at Newark

Andy loves to experiment and last year he was looking at the consequences of applying large tank mixes (6+ products) to a crop of winter wheat. This year, he is using that information to see if the damage that was observed can be negated by the addition of biostimulants in the mix or applied at various other times in the season. Last year the damage was seen after 2 weeks… so let’s see whether the addition of biostimulants can create a stronger/healthier crop to cope better with the ‘hot’ mix… watch this space!

We then have spring barley (cv. Chalice) seed treatment work looking at the control of (inoculated) leaf stripe with Vibrance Duo, with and without ipconazole vs competition – nothing visible in the untreated as yet.

Hybrid winter barley, Bazooka, vs conventional winter barleys drilled in December 2019. Trial looking at seed treatment comparisons with Vibrance Duo, we had some nice differences with establishment and rooting, but at present no visual differences.

Andy is excited about this trial of inoculated loose smut winter barley (cv. Flagon) comparing Vibrance Duo with and without ipconazole and other competitors. The infected ears in the untreated were very present and also in some of the competitor plots, but extremely clean in the Vibrance Duo plots!

Loose smut infected winter barley

As always, Andy is concerned about keeping the barleys standing, so has a trial where he has thrown three lots of PGR’s at the barley and compared it to one or two applications. Now all we need is some rain and wind to see if they stay standing.

One observation in the conventional winter barley PGR plot, was some blind grain sites, but it was through all the treatments, including the untreated plots.

For more information on the Newark Innovation Centre site visit ​https://www.syngenta.co.uk/innovation-centres/newark