Growers embrace new leaf rust treatment
After a tough year with barley diseases last season, growers in the Great Southern are upping the ante and taking new approaches to disease management.
Primaries Gnowangerup agronomist, Tom McInerney, says barley leaf rust and spot type net blotch are having a strong impact on barley yields, especially on the more disease prone cereal-on-cereal paddocks.
“We’re even starting to see growers getting out of the premium malt barley varieties like Bass because it’s just too hard to control disease, and moving into the easier to manage non-premium varieties,” says Tom.
Working with local growers to trial treatments like UNIFORM®, a Fungicide from Syngenta, Tom says the results have been promising.
“Last year we trialed UNIFORM in a strip test on a barley-on-barley paddock with one of the local growers. The strips treated with UNIFORM showed more than a tonne in yield improvement compared to the strips treated with Impact® or not treated at all.
“Those strong results have been replicated with other growers as well.”
Gnowangerup and Cranbrook grower, Cameron Williamson, is one of those now applying UNIFORM.
Last year he decided to skip a trial and just apply UNIFORM across the board on around 1500 hectares of barley in order to combat a variety of diseases in Granger.
“Typically we’ve treated disease with later fungicides, spraying a couple of times a year. After Tom recommended UNIFORM we thought we would give it a go,” says Cameron.
“Granger is pretty resistant for powdery mildew, but there is still leaf rust and spot type net blotch. We liked the idea of UNIFORM as it does the lot.”
A Syngenta brand, UNIFORM is a broad spectrum fungicide that can be applied either in-furrow or as a split application. In barley it controls rhizoctonia, pythium and, of particular interest to Great Southern growers it protects barley from foliar diseases such as, powdery mildew, barley leaf rust, spot type net blotch and net type net blotch.
It is also effective against rhizoctonia, pythium, stripe rust and yellow leaf spot in wheat.
Cameron says the UNIFORM was so effective that no extra seasonal spraying was required.
“It performed really well. Our neighbours said they really copped leaf rust, but we were pretty clean.”
“Yield-wise it is hard to tell as we were hit with terrible frosts at the end of the season which really affected the yields.”
“But earlier in the season the Granger had looked really good.”
Cameron says he will be applying UNIFORM again this year across the board to 1500 hectares of barley and 1800 hectares of wheat.
“For the wheat, we’re hoping to treat yellow spot and the rust as well,” he says.
“What we are hoping to do is to not go back and spray again later in the year.”
“UNIFORM has an upfront cost, but if it does what it’s supposed to do and saves us a pass later in the year, then it pays for itself.”