Protecting wheat yield and quality with a T3 ear spray

Product Update
SY Insitor wheat ears

Use T3 to target disease on the upper foliage and the ear

The T3 fungicide is typically thought of as targeting ear diseases. While this is true, high pressure from foliar diseases means it could also be an important timing for topping up late season control of Septoria and rust this season – particularly if less effective fungicide strategies were used at the flag leaf spray timing (T2).

Winter wheat ear

High Septoria tritici pressure

It goes without saying that this season we have had weather conditions that have been ideal for Septoria tritici. The prolonged wet and mild winter, followed by a sudden temperature increases and showers during May are almost textbook for S. tritici build up.

As a result, the stage is set for plenty of inoculum in crops just as they enter their critical grain-filling and yield-building period.

If the new fungicide MIRAVIS® Plus + Era® has been used at T2 at a suitable dose, this should potentially provide around 6-8 weeks protection against S. tritici. Depending on your location and the season, this could be enough to see crops through to natural senescence.

However, if a lower dose has been used, or a fungicide that does not give such long-lasting protection, then control may need topping up and extending at T3.

ELATUS® Era as an ear spray fungicide at T3

Provided that it has not been applied to the crop already, and provided that only one foliar SDHI fungicide has been applied to the crop this season, then ELATUS® Era is a useful option to consider at the T3 timing.  

Some reasons to consider ELATUS® Era at T3 include:

•    As a ‘top up’ against Septoria tritici
•    For activity against Septoria nodorum – affects ears (glume blotch) and leaves
•    For activity against yellow and brown rusts
•    For green leaf retention benefits
•    To extend the period of protection
•    It contains prothioconazole, which has Fusarium activity

Find out more about ELATUS® ERA here.

Rust pressure at T3

Yellow rust on flag leaves

Another key issue that was already rearing its head at the start of T2 (flag leaf) sprays in winter wheat was rust – notably brown rust but also yellow rust.

Brown rust is normally a late season disease, so might be expected. But yellow rust seems to have survived some T1 fungicides (potentially those with lower yellow rust activity), so it will be important to remain vigilant.

If either rust is a concern, ELATUS® Era at T3 is an excellent option.

Alternatively, if two foliar SDHI treatments have already been applied this season, consider a an AMISTAR based mixture at T3.

In a highly curative rust situation, a low cost tebuconazole partner can also be tank-mixed with either of these treatments for extra curative activity. The overarching caveat is that a maximum of two foliar SDHIs and a maximum of two QoI (strobilurin) applications are allowed per crop.

As well as protecting yield, because of the way that rust ‘feeds’ on plant tissues, effective rust control can also help to maximise grain protein.

Find out more about AMISTAR here.

Targeting Fusarium at T3

Fusarium is clearly a key driver for T3 fungicides – especially in milling wheat – and is typically targeted with the Fusarium-active triazole, prothioconazole.

Using the appropriate dose is critical, as is accurate spray timing is – with the optimum being GS63-65 in order for the spray to penetrate the florets. Later spraying is likely to result in increased mycotoxin risk and failure to achieve maximum yield. Even with everything optimised, it is still only likely to be Fusarium reduction that is achieved, not full control.

Where Fusarium is the target, ELATUS® Era contains prothioconazole. So it is an ideal foundation for topping up foliar disease control at T3 in Fusarium risk scenarios – applied with extra prothioconazole to provide a suitable Fusarium-active dose.

Again, observe the maximum number of applications allowed per crop.

Find out more about Fusarium and mycotoxins here.

Find out more about the T3 spray timing here.

Decision tree for using ELATUS® Era and AMISTAR at T3 

Never exceed the maximum number of permitted applications or maximum permitted total dose for any product or fungicide group. Always read the label.

Decision Tree