Fungicide futures debate at the AHDB Agronomists’ Conference

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How fungicide resistance management guidance should be improved and promoted will be debated at this year’s AHDB Agronomists’ Conference.

The cereals-focused ‘fungicide futures’ debate will take place on the second day (6 December 2017) and is being held amid growing concerns about the efficacy of key active ingredients.

To fuel the debate, the views of all with a stake in fungicide efficacy are sought. People do not need to attend the conference to get involved. Views and opinions on fungicide resistance management can be submitted via email ( or Twitter (using the two hashtags: #agconf17 and #FungicideFutures). Submissions must be made by 1 December 2017.

Paul Gosling, who manages AHDB fungicide performance work, said: “Management of key cereal diseases is on a knife edge. Mutations conferring insensitivity to SDHIs are on the increase and azole efficacy also continues to decline against some key diseases.

“Despite the efforts of the Fungicide Resistance Action Group–UK (FRAG) and the fungicide manufacturers, general advice is still sometimes inconsistent with good resistance management practice. This is unlikely to be deliberate and reflects the complex science and uncertainty around the best approach for every situation.

“This debate will get to the heart of resistance guidance and the associated practical constraints. It will seed the next generation of resistance management advice, which must be based on powerful and consistent messages.”

Following papers on fungicide performance in cereals and oilseed rape, a team of expert panellists will debate the views and opinions submitted by the industry, each from a different angle:

  • Resistance guidance – Fiona Burnett, SRUC and FRAG chair
  • Researcher/advisor – Jonathan Blake, ADAS
  • Applied – Keith Norman, Velcourt
  • Commercial – Rosie Bryson, BASF
  • AHDB – Paul Gosling, AHDB

It is hoped the debate will promote the use of low-risk fungicide programmes before new fungicide active ingredients become available over the next few years.

Although focused on cereal pathogens, the debate will also help guide the development of improved resistance management strategies for other crop diseases. Of particular note is potato blight and an update on the status of fluazinam-insensitive strains will provided on the first day of the conference.

Claire Hodge, AHDB Knowledge Exchange Manager and project lead for the Fight Against Blight, said: “Through the Fight Against Blight platform, we can provide results for this year’s findings.

“This is particularly important for growers planning next year’s blight management programmes, due to the emergence of the blight strain EU_37, which has shown resistance to fluazinam.”

People interested in contributing to the debate are asked to read the FRAG guidelines to help them focus their opinions and views. These can be accessed via

When submitting a view or opinion, people should state if they would like to remain anonymous.

Pricing and booking information

  • One-day ticket = £45+VAT
  • Two-day ticket = £80+VAT
  • Ticket prices include lunch(es), refreshments and the conference papers

To book a place or for further event information, visit: or


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