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Arable

Greener leaves highlight yield difference in T2 fungicide trials Differences in key T2-applied fungicide performance have been found on a number of farms.

Staffs farmer Roger Hopley.

For an experienced farmer like Roger Hopley this industry has a habit of throwing up some surprises. But probably none more so than last season. With little disease around and a robust variety in Graham, he recorded over a 1t/ha difference across four SDHI T2 options in a trial on his Halfhead Farm, Stone, Staffs. To complicate matters the result came from one field, and a very even one at that! He compared Ascra (prothioconazole + bixafen + fluopyram) against Adexar (epoxiconazole + fluxapyroxad),

Elatus Era (prothioconazole + benzovindiflupyr) and Aviator (prothioconazole + bixafen) as part of Bayer’s ‘Judge For Yourself’ initiative. With septoria pressure lower than usual because of the dry conditions, he expected to see little between the four treatments. All of which had an azole based T0, Aviator at T1 and Toledo (tebuconazole) at T3. But as the combine moved through the field the yield monitor ranged between just below 9.0t/ha up to 10.2t/ha; the highest readings being the Ascra part of the field. It is a result he finds hard to explain. “It is a very even piece of ground of free draining loam without wet headlands or compacted areas,” he notes. He feels these differences could have been higher. Crops entering spring had plenty of biomass and free of disease, and it looked promising. “We had enough biomass and very little disease to worry about. But the drought in early July just cooked them. We lost between

0.5–1.5t/ha depending on soil type and variety.” Because the warm weather baked off some of the earlier yield potential, his trial suggests fungicide choice played a part in minimising the damage. The Ascra treated part of his Judge For Yourself field was his best performing winter wheat crop.

Greening properties One possible reason that Ascra delivered over 1t/ha over the other T2 SDHI options is its greening properties. It remains one of only a handful of fungicides with a claim for increased chlorophyll on the label. “I could see that after the flag leaf application the Ascra part of the field looked greener. I cannot say why – it just did!” And leaf assessments with Yara’s N Tester and aerial imaging technology reflect what Mr Hopley observed. With four fellow Judge For Yourself participants Bayer looked at chlorophyll content, N uptake, plant vigour and potential stress symptoms six weeks after T2 sprays. continued over...

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