UK - The 2014 HGCA Agronomists' Conference included an in-depth analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of a range of cereal fungicides.
The presentation of the latest fungicide performance data was delivered by Stuart Knight, Director of Crops & Agronomy, NIAB.
The relatively high disease pressures in 2014 had tested the mettle of the products trialled, leading to good protectant and eradicant data. However, delegates were reminded of the importance of looking at several years’ data to iron out the influence of seasonal variation.
For septoria tritici control in wheat, the continued decline in azole activity meant straight azoles remained somewhat off the pace set by the other products/active ingredients tested.
The SDHI/azole mixtures trialled were closely matched and largely superior to solo SDHIs – showing azoles can still play a useful role.
The multi-site products tested also remained valuable as protectants, with an important role in resistance management.
Solo SDHIs tested in trials were also highly active but delegates were reminded that SDHIs should always be mixed with at least one fungicide with an alternative mode of action that has efficacy against the target pathogen.
For brown rust control in wheat, the strobilurin fungicide Comet was considered to be the star of 2014. For yellow rust control in wheat, SDHI/azoles mixtures, Comet and straight azoles gave good control, while the straight SDHIs were weaker.
For barley, the trials in 2014 saw greater differentiation between the solo SDHIs tested, with Imtrex performing relatively well, especially on rhynchosporium and net blotch. The SDHI/azole mixtures trialled also performed relatively well against the target diseases, Siltra Xpro and Adexar were consistent, whereas Vertisan plus Proline was slightly weaker on rhynchosporium protection in 2014.
Mr Knight concluded with a statement on the importance on not relying on straight actives. Where trials were challenged by more than one disease, there was a yield benefit from the SHDH/azole mixtures compared to straights in addition to the important role of mixtures in resistance management.
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