Reap cost benefit of take-all treatment as second wheat area tipped to rise

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With new crop wheat trading at a healthy £160 to £170 per tonne second wheats are looking an attractive prospect for 2021/22 cropping plans.

An important question to address before ordering second wheat seed is whether to include take-all seed treatment Latitude (silthiofam) and an online tool can help by illustrating the likely cost benefit according to a grower’s specific situation.

Agrovista’s technical seed specialist Stuart Cree believes a precarious global feed stock situation, an increase in domestic wheat demand and the re-opening of bioethanol plants in the north of England will keep the wheat market bullish for the foreseeable future.

The area of second wheat will inevitably go up as a result, bringing additional challenges for the grower, such as higher grassweed pressure, increased nutrient requirement, and a wider range of disease threats, including soil-borne take-all.

Investment in Latitude (silthiofam) – the only available seed treatment with activity against the disease – is sometimes seen as an expense too far.

But Mr Cree thinks there is a compelling case this season, with growers looking to drill wheat earlier to avoid wet weather in the late autumn, increasing risk of take-all infection and potential yield losses.

“Increasing weather extremes, particularly droughts, means it’s also a good idea to protect roots, allowing plants to access moisture and scavenge for nutrients more effectively.

“Latitude reduces take-all infection of roots, safeguards against yield losses of 0.5-0.75t/ha, and with prices where they are, that equates to about a two- to three-fold return on investment,” explains Mr Cree.

Certis seed treatment expert Tim Eaton says the company’s Latitude cost benefit calculator aids decision-making. It simply requires users to enter their expected grain value, seed rate and treatment cost.

“Based on hundreds of trials over many years the tool gives a very reliable indication of cost benefit. It’s available now for growers considering 2021/22 cropping in advance of this year’s harvest,” he adds.

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