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Arable

Delivering advantages in OSR disease control The time for effective control of key oilseed rape diseases has arrived and we hear from two agronomists who reckon an SDHI/ strobilurin combination is a good fit on their respective hectares.

Root advantage Manufacturer DuPont claims that Refinzar’s other main area of strength is the physiological benefit of increased root growth and biomass. “It’s difficult to try and quantify how much yield benefit is generated through enhanced growth and root establishment,” says Mr Bellamy, “but with levels of clubroot on the increase and potential damage from cabbage stem flea beetle, a stronger, healthier and more vigorous plant has got to be more resilient to infection or attack.” He also suggests that improved rooting through the use of Refinzar could be a strategic option on lighter and more drought-prone soils, where enhanced root biomass is essential in prolonging the life of the crop and reducing the likelihood of early senescence. “These are all potential attributes that you wouldn’t necessarily see in

other products,” he states. “However they are a bonus really and not the primary reason for adopting it. It still comes down to effective control of both major diseases and a single treatment of between 0.5–0.75-litres/ha should, depending on the variety, carry the crop through to the spring.”

North Yorks With both conventional and HEAR varieties in his portfolio, North Yorkshire-based Agrovista agronomist Robert Wilkin is convinced that a robust approach to key OSR diseases in the autumn will ensure a healthy and viable crop going forward. “My growers recognise the need to control infection of both phoma and LLS before weather conditions dictate otherwise,” he explains. “We incubate leaves to ascertain latent LLS infection levels and we like to try and apply the product early enough to ensure good control, as fungicides are best used in a protective scenario and often in tandem with a boron supplement. If left until inclusion with the Kerb, it can be too late and puts too much pressure on the product.” Frelizon (as in Refinzar) has assured Mr Wilkin of dependable control of both existing disease and the prevention of further infection when applied at suitable threshold levels, he says. Application at those first signs of phoma when weather conditions are variable, can also mean significant control of LLS even though the symptoms may not be visible. Mr Wilkin is equally keen to point out that Frelizon delivers in terms of physiological advantages when applied at that earlier autumn timing. “We’ve seen these effects consistently since we’ve been using Frelizon,” he points out. “The combination of an SDHI and a strobilurin in a standalone rape product has definitely given us the edge in terms of yield. It’s become our product of choice now and although we still often have to follow up with a spring applied prochloraz-based product, the Frelizon sees us through the vulnerable winter months, reducing risk and with added crop benefits. “For both susceptible varieties and

Application of Frelizon at the first signs of phoma, when weather conditions are variable, can also mean significant control of LLS even though the symptoms may not be visible, growers are advised.

even the more tolerant ones, Frelizon’s reliability has meant that growers not only have massive confidence

in its ability, but any premium spent over standard triazole treatments is completely justified.” ■

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Advising growers over approximately 2,800ha of oilseed rape in Northants, Oxon and Bucks, NIABTAG agronomist Jon Bellamy (right) is acutely aware of the need to spread the fungicide workload with different active ingredients. Having lost Punch C from the market, there were few options for effective autumn disease control. The introduction of Refinzar (penthiopyrad + picoxystrobin) has not only filled the gap but also taken disease management to a new level and means he is not reliant on just one product. “When Refinzar was launched, we knew that a product had arrived that could not only replace Punch C in terms of efficacy, but provide a robust and reliable platform for autumn disease control, thereby preserving the prothioconazole activity almost exclusively for spring/summer use,” explains Mr Bellamy. “It has now become a genuine option for us and although we apply on disease thresholds observed in the field, with the high output varieties we’re now growing such as Elgar, Flamingo and Nikita, Refinzar is a really good fit for that type of variety’s disease strengths and weaknesses.”

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