Crop event set to yield positive results

Wheat and barley growers affected by the ban of a widely used fungicide will be able to seek expert advice at a free trials event. 

Organised under the Scottish Government’s Farm Advisory Service (FAS) programme, the Cereal Trials Open Evening in East Lothian will be delivered by specialists from Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC).

Taking place on Thursday 27 June, the event will take place at Cauldshiel Farm, home to an SRUC trials site that features more than 2000 plots grown to provide information for the regional list varieties of wheat and barley as well as research trials on nitrogen use efficiency, fungicide performance and novel products.

Event organiser Donald Dunbar, from SAC Consulting, part of SRUC, said: “The announcement in May of the withdrawal of the multisite fungicide chlorothalonil (CTL) was a blow to wheat and barley growers alike.

“In wheat programmes, CTL had become a mainstay for its efficacy and role in cost-effective stewardship of fungicide resistance. For barley growers, they will be left without any fungicide product effective against the foliar disease ramularia.”

The good news, says Mr Dunbar, is there has been progress on improving the variety resistance to the yield robbing wheat disease Septoria tritici. Dr Steve Hoad will provide an update on disease ratings and target markets with variety KWS Extase for milling & LG Sundance for distilling setting new standards for Septoria tritici resistance. 

Using an integrated pest management approach incorporating variety resistance, crop rotation and delayed sowing, a grower can build crop resilience into disease control and reduce the risk to their crops.

According to Dr Neil Havis, SRUC senior plant pathologist, novel products can also add a further line of disease defence. Dr Havis has been investigating how the use of elicitor products which trigger a plant immune response by the plant providing another tool for growers to reduce their reliance on fungicides.

There will be an update from Dr Andy Evans on BYDV management, and SAC Consulting’s Julian Bell will give a business view on crop choice; covering costs and local and global markets. 

The Cereal Trials Open Evening takes place on Thursday 27 June at 4.45pm at Cauldshiel Farm, near East Saltoun, Haddington, EH41 4JR – courtesy of farmers Keith and Scott Maxwell.

While the event is free, anyone planning to attend is asked to register by booking online at www.fas.scot or by phoning 0131 603 7520 or 01835 823 322. 

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About The Author

John Swire - Deputy 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 a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.