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Yellow rust – catch it early

Innovation Centres
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Yellow rust has been found at Syngenta Innovation Centres on sites at Stamford, Beeswax, Rougham, and Luton. Yellow rust can impact yields by as much as 50% if left untreated (AHDB 2016).

Yellow rust is making an appearance already this year on our sites at Stamford, Beeswax, Rougham, Warwick and Luton. This isn’t unusual, as yellow rust can be present at any time from pre-Christmas on many varieties, given that only three varieties have “seedling” resistance to Yellow rust. However, it is the weather we get from now on that affects how it develops from this point onwards. If conditions become warmer and stay wet, yellow rust will spread virulently. If conditions remain frosty then the yellow rust will be slowed, but it will not be killed off.

“If you spot yellow rust now, you need to be prepared to treat it early (potentially before “T0”) – particularly if growing varieties highly susceptible to yellow rust. Aim to control the infection early on if it appears to be spreading during March, using a rust active triazole fungicide (eg Cherokee) to prevent it from taking a hold on your crop.”

- Field Technical Manager, Iain Hamilton

It is also important to know that varietal resistance breakdown can occur at any time, without warning. Vigilance is key when it comes to yellow rust – even if growing a variety with a currently high resistance rating. Three years ago, our sites saw previously resistant varieties succumb to a new race of yellow rust. Therefore, treating it early is important, since new races can develop and are not confirmed until after the end of the season when it is too late.

To find out more about yellow rust, download the AHDB Wheat Disease Management Guide.

The Syngenta Innovation Centres are specialist sites spread throughout the UK, with technical field experts trialling conditions, varieties, treatments and techniques to provide advice for agronomists and farmers. Come along to one of our open days to learn more about their research, and how it can benefit your crops. Find the dates and locations here.

Image of Iain Hamiliton