Asthoughts turn to T1 sprays, Dr David Ellerton of Hutchinsons, urges growers tokeep an eye out for yellow rust that is just beginning to appear in crops. Weare not seeing anything like the levels of yellow rust that we had last year,however in some of the more susceptible varieties there are signs that it isjust starting to creep in.
Whilstsome of the more resistant varieties in the ground this year offer a reducedrisk and a degree of flexibility in timing of the spray, it is still importantto keep a close eye on all crops and protect accordingly, as we know that theWarrior race can build rapidly, is his advice.
Norfolk farmer Thomas Love, has put almost half ofthe wheat at Walcott Farms near Norwich down to Evolution this season. Mr Lovebelieves Evolutions strong yellow rust resistance (rated 9 on the HGCARecommended List) and high yields (106% of control) make it stand out fromother varieties and can even give scope for cost savings. Some 80ha (200 acres)is in the ground as a first wheat after potatoes or peas this year, alongsidefellow Group 4s Leeds and Conqueror.
Crops look well so far, he says. We didnt startdrilling until 24 September so they are not as far forward as some otherwheats, but thats not a bad thing given the relatively mild winter. Weve seena bit of septoria but not a vast amount, and Evolution has stayed free fromyellow rust so far.
Agronomy is set to be broadly similar to lastseason; high yellow rust pressure last spring meant a pre-T0 spray of0.6litres/ha Capalo (epoxiconazole, fenpropimorph + metrafenone) was applied tothe Conqueror, while it was not needed on Evolution.
This spring has been colder and drier, resultingin lower disease pressure, so everything will get broadly the same approach.But we will assess the situation later to see what are options are when we getto the T3 spray.
Mr Love believes it is false economy to skimp onearly spray inputs just to save money, as this can easily let disease getestablished which is then harder to control. With lower grain prices across theboard this season, maximising yield and getting the most from inputs is key, hesays.
Last years Evolution averaged around 12t/ha(5t/acre), although yields have been up to more than 14t/ha (5.66t/acre) onsome of the best medium loam land in the past.
I think Evolution is the beginning of asignificant change for new wheat varieties coming through and have got bighopes for it if it retains its disease ratings and stays as clean as it is.
Land is typically ploughed before drilling at arate of 135-170kg/ha depending on date and conditions. Around 195kg N/ha isapplied in three splits of liquid nitrogen at the beginning of March, mid-Apriland early-May. A robust fungicide programme is typically used (see below forlast seasons).
Walcott Farms Evolution fungicide strategy
T0 (GS 30): 0.6litres/ha Capalo + 1 litre/ha Piper(chlorothalonil)
T1 (GS 32): 1litre/ha Vertisan (penthiopyrad) +0.75litres/ha Rubric (epoxiconazole) + 1litre/ha chlorothalonil
T2 (GS 39): 1.8litres/ha Ceriax (epoxiconazole,fluxapyroxad + pyraclostrobin)
T3 (GS 60): 0.8litres/ha Prosaro (prothioconazole +tebuconazole)
T4: 0.75litres/ha Deacon (tebuconazole)