Joined up thinking on fungicides
Correct fungicide selection and application is a key part of an IPM (Integrated Pest Management) strategy, writes Ciaran Collins
A typical spring barley grower in Ireland will spend €90/ha on fungicides. This increases to €135/ha for a winter barley grower and further increases to €190/ha for winter wheat.
Can two farmers spend the same amount of money on a fungicide programme and get different results? The answer is YES. From the Teagasc e-PM the top one third of winter wheat growers produced 0.6t/ha more yield yet spent €15/ha less on fungicides.
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All professional users (farmers) are required to apply the general principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) under the Sustainable Use Directive (SUD). Many of these measures are already practiced on farm and all that is required of many farmers is to record them.
Prevention and suppression is the biggest and most important part of the IPM triangle where crop rotation and varietal disease resistance scores are important factors. But in April, May and June the focus turns towards fungicides and how we use them.
How fungicides are used is a key part of any IPM strategy.
This involves the decision making process as to whether a fungicide is required or not, fungicide selection, rate and most importantly the timing that it is used on the crop.
The employment of an anti-resistance strategy is vital to prolong our existing fungicides and all of this is underpinned by evaluation and recording of results.
Timing is everything
In an era when the efficacy of our current suite of active ingredients is struggling to control septoria in wheat, an incorrect timing can be very costly.