Don’t overlook take-all threat to barley this autumn


rowers are reminded of the take-all disease threat to winter barley crops this autumn and to consider a seed treatment to protect yield. The soil-borne disease attacks the roots of cereal crops – restrict- ing water and nutrient uptake and strangling yield. Symptoms include blackened roots and whiteheads (bleached ears) that appear during grain fill.

The disease builds in the soil when host crops are grown in consecutive seasons, so symptoms are most acute in second or third cereals before take-all decline sets in during year four, says Certis take-all expert Tim Ea- ton (pictured).

Often associated with wheat, it is also a threat to barley. “Win- ter barley is often grown in sec- ond and third cereal situations, so take-all is certainly something that should be considered, particu- larly on lighter soils.” Mr Eaton says field history is a

major consideration when assess- ing disease risk and where symp- toms have been seen in previous cereals, measures to protect against yield loss should be considered. In wheat, later drilling is a major cultural meth- od to reduce take-all inci- dence, but potential to ad- just drill date is much less in winter bar- ley crops, the ma- jority of which are drilled in September. “After so many win-

ter barley growers were caught out last year by the wet autumn last year, there may be more crops drilled early this autumn and that may increase risk,” he adds. Other cultural methods as part of an integrated take-all control strategy include ensuring soil structure and drainage are in the best possible condition for optimal rooting.

Seed-bed consolidation will also help minimise its impact. Early spring nitrogen applica- tions will help encourage rooting and reduce disease severity. The next line of defence is seed treat- ment Latitude (silthiofam) where risk is identified.

This has been proven in ADAS- led winter barley trials conducted in Herefordshire during 2018. An average yield response of 0.24t/ha was seen across all varieties with a 0.5t/ha uplift in six-row hybrid variety Volume.

Spot phoma early to protect oilseed rape

Spotting phoma early can give farmers the edge against a dis- ease that costs winter oil seed rape growers £100m annually. Technology company Drone

Ag says more growers and agron- omists are using its Skippy Scout drone to gather high resolution, leaf level images and identify signs of phoma and stem canker faster – helping to reduce crop losses. “Based on annual survey data presented by Crop Monitor it is estimated that phoma results in losses of about £100m each season, despite fungicide treat- ment,” says Drone Ag founder Jack Wrangham. “It is vital that farmers spot phoma early.” Skippy Scout uses field maps to automate drone flight. By up- loading field maps, farmers can choose points in fields for the drone to fly to and take images. The images have sufficient detail to spot early signs of phoma.

NORMAC Norfolk Farm Machinery Club (NORMAC) Ltd CULTIVATIONS DEMONSTRATION Downham Market A10 roundabout

By kind permission of Albanwise Farming Ltd Wednesday 16th September, all day

Lots of machinery Lots of action Lots of tractors

Lots of information Static stands, refreshments, etc.


Subject to current pandemic regulations 10 ANGLIA FARMER • SEPTEMBER 2020

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