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Agronomy Roadshow 2023

20 December 2022

The latest crop trial results are being rolled out at Agronomy Roadshows around Scotland.

Producing crops profitably and sustainably has never been more important. Using the best available varieties and optimising inputs has always been key, but with increasing net zero and biodiversity needs, it is information on soil health and the role of carbon within soils that will help the arable industry strike the win:wins for both profit and sustainability.

The upcoming Agronomy Roadshows in January, jointly funded by FAS and AHDB, will bring the very latest research in crop and soil management to audiences in three locations around the country (Melrose, Perth and Inverurie). Field trial results from the 2022 season will help inform how variety, fertiliser and fungicide choices can be adjusted to the 2023 season. Crop choices and varieties that match the main markets are key to margins, and with world demand and prices high, a market update will give context to the roadshow information. There will also be local AHDB benchmarking figures to point to the profitability of different options, with likely crop yield and input costs being two very necessary pieces of information to help decision making.

Fungicide programmes represent significant investment in a crop and the performance of individual fungicides and how this translates into adjustments to fungicide programmes for 2023 will be one of the pieces of research work highlighted at the roadshows. In wheat, septoria is the main target of fungicide programmes and the 2022 data highlights that the septoria population was relatively stable in terms of SDHI and azole resistance with no more extreme outliers detected in monitoring compared to previous seasons. However, it also showed that within that previous sensitivity range, the frequency of less sensitive isolates to SDHIs had increased. Genotyping of these isolates, carried out at NIAB, shows that septoria isolates are becoming more complex and carrying increasing numbers of mutations that confer reduced sensitivity. This really emphasises the need for effective resistance management. With the newer mode of action, the QiI fenpicoxamid (in Univoq) which performed well in Septoria trials, there is a chance to alternate away from SDHI and azole chemistry and reduce the selection pressure for resistant isolates.

In barley rhynchosporium remains a significant risk particularly in winter crops, but one where we have a good range of protectant options. In trials last year prothioconazole and fluxapyroxad (Imtrex) looked strong, and ahead of mefentrifluconazole (as Myresa). All solo actives like these should be used in programmes in balanced mixtures. Ascra Xpro remained the standard with leading efficacy and yield but Revystar XE also performed well. For ramularia the azole positioning was reversed and it was mefentrifloconazole that led, ahead of prothioconazole. Integrated pes management remains very topical and the roadshows will also cover IPM research in to biologicals and elicitors.

Optimising soil health and crop nutrition are key to optimising profit but are also key in the industry’s journey to net zero. Presenters will cover the latest research and give practical steers to the products and management practice that are most effective. For example, the latest SRUC comparisons for liquid versus granular urea show no advantage to the liquid form tested and this will be one of the pieces of work discussed. The important role of carbon in soils will also be explored.

The arable industry in Scotland produces crops of the highest quality, based on safe and sustainable practices. Communicating this to buyers is vital and Scottish Quality Crops Ltd will be on hand at the roadshows to discuss what the quality assurance scheme is doing to promote the value of Scottish produce to end-users, and the work it is doing to support members in times of change. The day will conclude with local farmer experiences of regenerative practices and consider in panel sessions what success looks like and where the biggest challenges arise.

The events are free to attend but numbers are limited so please book to reserve a place. Agronomy Roadshows 2023 Borders | AHDB

 View presentations from each event here:

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