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Crop Health Updates - March 2019

Barley disease management

Barley is building up a whole host of fungicide resistance issue with rhynchosporium, net blotch and loose smut all showing shifts in recent seasons. The better news is that when actives are used in the mixture they still bring pretty solid disease control to barley programmes in both the winter and spring crops – with the exception being ramularia where chlorothalonil is the only remaining effective fungicide. Read more here.

Post-metaldehyde slug management

Defra recently announced a ban on metaldehyde use for outdoor use from spring 2020, as a consequence of long-standing concerns over it getting into drinking water. At first sight, this announcement looks like yet another loss from the pesticide tool chest, and it comes on top of the loss of chlothianidin as a seed treatment which gave some reduction in slug grazing of cereal seed.  This leaves us with just a single option for slug control in the form of ferric phosphate. It is never great to be down to just one tool, but the better news is that trials by SRUC and others comparing ferric phosphate efficacy to that of metaldehyde show that, in the main, ferric phosphate tends to be as effective as metaldehyde.  Read more here.

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