Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Guides detail measures to combat fungicide resistance

January 2, 2019 by  
Filed under Crops

Fungicide resistance management in wheat and barley pathogens is the focus of two new publications launched at last month’s AHDB Agronomists Conference.

Developed as part of the Fungicide Futures initiative, the publications provide information on best practice fungicides, including non-chemical control, treatment frequency, timing, dose, mixtures, alternation, multi-sites and programmes.

Evidence suggests further shifts in fungicide performance, conference delegates were told. Robust fungicide programmes had helped to support high yields in both wheat and barley. But it was essential that programmes are designed around a solid anti-resistance strategy.

When fungicides are applied, susceptible fungal strains are usually controlled very effectively. However, any resistant strains present  – through mutation or natural variatio – are more likely to survive and reproduce, listeners were told at the event on 4-5 December in Kettering.

This process of selection makes each subsequent generation more difficult to control. In the absence of any fitness costs, resistant strains may come to dominate the population, causing disease control to fail.

In wheat, septoria tritici is the biggest worry, with significant shifts in sensitivity to strobilurins and azoles in UK populations. Isolates with mutations that confer reduced sensitivity to succinate dehydrogenase inhibitors (SDHIs) are present and increasing across the UK.

For barley, ramularia is currently of greatest concern, with significant shifts in sensitivity to strobilurins, azoles and SDHIs in UK populations.

Paul Gosling, who manages fungicide performance work at AHDB, said: “It is essential to use comprehensive anti-resistance strategies to slow resistance development and preserve the efficacy of both existing and new chemistry.

“These Fungicide Futures publications provide clear information on what and, importantly, what not to do when designing fungicide programmes.”

The two publications can be downloaded from ahdb.org.uk/knowledge-library/fungicide-futures

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