Septoria storm brewing

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After the warmest February on record for England and Wales, followed by a very wet March, growers could need all the tools available to them to offset the threat of septoria this year. That’s the warning from Corteva Agriscience with early indicators pointing towards high pressure in crops.

Corteva’s cereal fungicide category manager Mike Ashworth said: “The conditions look likely to create a perfect storm; septoria lesions are already being spotted in fields, even on varieties with proven high resistance, such as Extase.

“It’s been a difficult few months for arable farmers, and the last thing we want is for septoria and rusts to compound what has already been a very tough season.

“Spring fieldwork is mounting and growers are desperately hoping for a window to catch up, so a strategy for 2024 fungicide programmes which reflects the disease pressure seen in the fields will need to be developed imminently.

“The best course of action is getting a proven, reliable fungicide in store, so you’re ready to go as soon as the rain stops.”

The company recommends its own Univoq, which has been found to offer the most effective control for septoria in AHDB trials, as well as being effective against rusts.

Corteva’s field technical manager, Craig Chisholm, added: “Univoq has proven its ability to deliver curative and preventative persistence. In 2021 we had a very wet spring and were facing similar circumstances to what we see in front of us today, and the fungicide did an excellent job in protecting crops during that season.”

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