WITH catchy weather, shifting strains and restricted modes of action, 2021 trials on late blight have highlighted the benefits of active crop monitoring and adapting programmes to the season.
Some of the take-home messages from one of the UK’s toughest and comprehensive trials, Eurofins, were recently shared by Meg Edmonds of Eurofins Agroscience Services Ltd and Paul Goddard from BASF.
Meg, who is Eurofins’ Operational Excellence Training Co-ordinator, said trials were being placed under the worst-case scenario.
“We inoculate the 11-acre site with the strains which are of most concern to the industry; have untreated areas at each end of the plots to ensure the spread of disease and irrigate frequently to supplement natural rainfall. In doing so, we really ramp up the pressure,” she said.
Meg said weather was a key talking point at the recent open day.
“We’ve never had to adjust our weekly spray plans so often onsite as we have this year,” she said. “On-farm, where growers have tried to stick religiously with seven-day intervals, they’ve been tripped up by the variable conditions. With the weather becoming increasingly unsettled, growers need to monitor their crops closely, and be more adaptable both with the timing of applications and their spray programmes.”
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