We are into the open season of events and trial demonstrations and at the time of writing we are on the point of departing to Cereals 17 in Lincolnshire. There is a lot to see and talk about this year with varieties standing out in terms of lodging and disease risk and changes in fungicide efficacy. This week we brought bad news to the party as our monitoring data from 2016 shows a significant shift in ramularia resistance to the SDHIs and a decline in azole efficacy. This confirms that the bad news from Germany and Denmark last year was not confined to the continent and re-emphasizes the need for careful stewardship of fungicides. We cover strategies for spring barley further on in this Crop Protection Report. Despite dry conditions earlier ramularia levels are quite high in crops in the south of England so it would be doubly unfortunate if we were to have a high pressure year and a decline in chemistry this season.
The sunny warm weather kick-started pest activity a bit earlier than usual and aphids have been flying into crops over the last few weeks. The rain over the weekend will have helped wash a few aphids off the crop, but aphicide programmes should now be underway in seed potato crops, and other crops checked for aphids.