Cereal fungicides – what should I apply this spring?

Are you tempted to reduce fungicide inputs this spring? Tempting as it might be to think about reducing input costs in the face of lower commodity prices it is likely to be a false economy. While the recent strong recovery in the milk solids price still has some way to go, it shows there is light at the end of the tunnel and that demand for cereals is likely to be stronger next year. Current enquiries through our website are focused around product choice rather than the merit of applying a fungicide. Interestingly, the questions are also focused on wheat rather than barley. 

Disease infections in barley are very evident at the moment with scald and net blotch being commonly encountered which is probably why wheat is generating the questions. T1 fungicide choice in barley is also perhaps simpler. Strong sales of Delaro are showing that merchants and farmers alike have quickly appreciated the benefits Delaro offers: excellent disease control, generous fungicide content and all at a very cost-effective price. “More bang for your buck” in fact.

Coming back to wheat, should I apply Aviator Xpro or Prosaro at GS31-32 is a question being asked. One reason for the question is undoubtedly the lower than expected disease levels being found in wheat. Don’t be taken off-guard though. Septoria leaf blotch (SLB) takes such a long time to complete its life cycle, especially in the winter and early spring, that it can often be the case that disease levels are low. The difficultly of gauging the disease threat wheat faces as it enters spring is a key reason Bayer recommends that Aviator Xpro is applied at 1.0 L/ha at GS31-32. Aviator Xpro not only provides excellent control of SLB but also stripe and leaf rust. This is supported with innovative Leafshield formulation technology that ensures even distribution of Aviator Xpro across the leaf accompanied with almost instant rainfastness.

Aviator Xpro is recognised as offering a strong and beneficial plant health platform, which allows your crops to deliver their full potential. One key way this manifests itself is through enhance greening resulting from additional chlorophyll production. Regardless of disease pressure, Aviator Xpro delivers the goods. In Bayer New Zealand trials last year, when faced with high disease pressure, an Aviator programme delivered a yield increase of 3.8 t/ha. Perhaps even more impressive was the 1.7 t/ha yield increase resulting from an Aviator programme when disease levels were low.

Where does Prosaro feature this spring? Prosaro is a great choice as a GS31-32 fungicide when lower SLB control and reduced plant health benefits can be accepted. The dual DMI composition of Prosaro ensures very effective SLB control is achieved but Aviator Xpro remains the product of choice. Prosaro really plays to its strengths at T3 as the ideal ear fungicide… but more on that later.