Proper treatment will keep oats free of mildew
Approximately 40pc of winter oats were ploughed up this year. Of the acreage ploughed up, around half that was replanted with spring oats.
Recent observations of crops which were damaged but not ploughed up show that the crops are thin and weedy. Yield expectations are not high in these crops. However, on a positive note, these crops are now growing strongly and are at, or approaching, second node stage.
Generally oats (winter or spring) will receive three fungicides, although some years two applications are sufficient on spring oats.
Mildew is the biggest risk in oats from early on and then rusts (mostly in southern counties) and red leather leaf disease can become a problem. In winter oats this year the first fungicide is likely to be included with the growth regulator at second node. Disease levels are low, with no reports of mildew, although given the weather at the moment an increase in mildew levels should be expected. The inclusion of Tocata or a mixture of Menara and Talius, etc will control the disease until heading out. The final fungicide should be applied at the heading out stage. Products which can be used are Tocata, Furlong, Jenton, Folicur + Amistar/Comet, etc.
Generally, use around three-quarters of the label rate to get good persistence and colour on the oats.
Spring oat fungicide programmes are similar to winter oats, especially the later timings as mentioned above. It's important to keep an eye on spring oats from an early stage (from early to mid tillering) to prevent mildew.
If mildew gets established it will be hard to shift and will cost more to stop it getting out of control later in the season. Products like Tallius (a preventative product with good persistence) or other fungicides such as Corbel, Tern, etc can be used.