Despite the shorter growing season spring barley can still suffer from significant disease infections and it is key to keep these crops as clean as possible, advises manufacturer BASF.
Maintenance of green leaf area is particularly important in spring barley this season to maximise crop growth and maintain yield potential, notes Peter Hughes, product manager with the company.
In spring barley the rapid growth can mean that by the T1 timing the crop canopy is too dense to allow good control of diseases already established in the base of the crop which allows rapid and damaging development as the season progresses.
It is important to control disease early to ensure that plants remain clean until the canopy opens up at stem extension.
This year with the increase in the spring barley area, product choices could be limited and it is important to be aware of all the options available. Consider using a range of actives across the programme for best practice resistance management.
Mildew could be a potential problem in the lusher barley crops, particularly in the more prone varieties, so it is important to consider a mildewicide such as Capalo which contains metrafenone + epoxiconazole + fenpropimorph which will protect the more tender leaves of the new, rapid leaf growth, and provides a good mixture of actives.
When considering wet weather diseases such as rhynchosporium and net blotch, there is a good protectant role for a strobilurin such as Comet 200 in a mix for example with prothioconazole. It is recognised by HGCA as the most effective strobilurin in barley.
Fiona Burnett, Crop Protection Team Leader with the SRUC, agrees that there is still very much a role for Comet 200 at T1; Comet has retained good efficacy against rhynchosporium and net blotch in our trials as well as having good activity on rusts. We have also seen evidence that it adds to yields in spring barley even in the absence of disease.
In terms of other options, Mr Hughes adds; For disease control in feed barley, do not forget Adexar. Most growers are likely to have some in the shed for use in wheat, and Adexar is the only fungicide that can match the bixafen based fungicide Siltra for disease control in barley which is verified by the independent HGCA trials.