Brassica Alert better targets agronomy decisions

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Brassica crop growers and agronomists now have the chance to better tailor disease and pest control programmes to specific threats this season, with the more advanced and targeted Brassica Alert monitoring and forecasting decision support tool.

Created and managed by the Allium & Brassica Centre, sponsored by Syngenta, Brassica Alert now utilises new more sophisticated pheromone trapping and monitoring of early pest presence, coupled to disease spore trapping and powerful weather modelling, to provide real-time risk assessments.

Traffic light warning system

Brassica Alert gives traffic-light style warning for impending risk of ringspot and white blister, along with major pests, thrip, diamond back moth and silver Y moth.  Growers and agronomist can opt to receive text updates to view the latest reports on the Syngenta website.

Early season reports had seen a low initial risk of ringspot in dry conditions, but high-risk warning for white blister, which requires only limited leaf wetness to develop. Silver Y moth had been identified at red warning high-risk populations on 90% of monitoring sites across the eastern counties, however thrip and diamond back moth were at low numbers.

Carl Sharp of the Allium & Brassica Centre said: “Brassica Alert has allowed growers the flexibility of going from what was an industry-standard fixed spray interval disease control programme, to targeted applications choosing products most suitable at the time of application.

“In our independent trials has shown that two targeted fungicide applications indicated by Brassica Alert, gave comparative disease control, marketable yield and quality as using the standard four to five spray programme.

“The combination of climatic data and spore trapping has given consistent results with regards to reliability,” he added.

Help to better target treatments

Syngenta digital agronomy specialist, Ed Flint, highlighted Brassica Alert has proven the potential for forecasting tools to help growers better target treatments and strengthen decision making.

“The greatest benefit comes when you start to couple decision support tools together,” he advocated.

“Growers who use Brassica Alert in combination with Syngenta Spray Assist, for example, can identify appropriate spray window opportunities for application timing ahead of pest or disease outbreaks – along with advice on the optimum application technique for the intended target, to get the best results possible.”

Brassica Alert is particularly well suited for preventative brassica fungicide programmes including Amistar Top and Plover, along with pest control programmes including Hallmark Zeon and Minecto One.

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About Author

Editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is an avid follower of Stoke City.