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Producing profitable crops for 2013

Wet fields

Struggling crops, poor establishment, wet conditions?  Sound familiar?

Wondering what to do next?

Experienced Lincolnshire Agronomist and Farmsaver Manager David Kent tells us his thoughts on producing profitable crops for 2013 harvest

The one lesson from 2012 was that the T 0 application on winter wheat which allowed improved levels of control later in the season was a very cost effective ‘insurance’. The other lesson learned from a difficult season was levels of control from SDHI chemistry was left wanting, along with traditional timings in high risk situations.

Older chemistry still has a vital role to play and is very ‘cost effective’ compared to newer chemistry. The question is, dose rate and units of active applied, key questions to consider when formulating your fungicide programme. Make you budget go further.

The other point to make is the early start to last spring 2012 was ‘dry’ and relatively low disease pressure and many growers decided T0 was not a priority. The value of a clean start in a disease programme can not be under estimated and this spring the priority is to encourage plants to root and encourage tillering.

 What should I use?

T 0 is all about reducing the burden of pressure for the rest of the growing season. Septoria Tritici and Yellow rust are the main threat and priority. The curative action of Triazole’s and ‘multi site’ action of a partner product should be the ideal start to a ‘cost effective’ disease control programme. Epoxiconazole is the ideal triazole, strong on Septoria Tritici and Yellow rust should be the corner stone of the programme. We would encourage the use of a ‘multi site’ tank mix partner: Chlorothanalil

Quell Flo is an alternative with Mancozeb providing a maintenance dose of manganese within the formulation plus not affecting the uptake of the partner triazole.

CCC should also be added to encourage root and tiller production at this early stage of development, CCC does not work efficiently below 7 degrees so in cold conditions the addition of an adjuvant to improve uptake should also be added.

Mildew: backward crops are also susceptible Mildew and an early application of a Mildewicide is vital for season long control.

Nutrition is essential this season!

Make sure you are giving your crops the nutrients they require to help them to recover from one of the most challenging establishment seasons we have seen for a long time.  Backward crops need everything possible to avoid any further limitation to their development. Nutrients will not be freely available to the crop due to the cold and water log conditions we have been experiencing, so a foliar trace element application is vital. Cereal crops will be requiring manganese, magnesium, copper and zinc and a product such as oilseed rape manganese, magnesium, boron and molybdenum, a product such as Nutrel’s Brassica Mix is ideal for oilseed rape.

Don’t forget many of these crops will also be struggling to obtain the Phosphate they require because of the anaerobic soil conditions. Foliar phosphite products can help your crop, stimulating growth and rooting.

For more information contact David Kent at