A three-spray approach can pay on spring barley – Mar 2013
The spring barley area in Mark Glyde’s Hampshire/Wiltshire/West Sussex core area is set to increase by about 30% this spring.
Many growers will be returning to the crop after several years. One important thing to remember is the speed at which the crop can develop. “It’s easy to get caught out and miss the optimum timings,” he explains. Last year many agronomists, including him, opted for three timings due to the wet weather and disease pressure, and he will be prepared to repeat that this season.
However, good disease control starts earlier, Mr Glyde points out. “We grow a lot of spring barley here and we’ve found the most important thing is a healthy plant.”
“Drilling is probably more important than fungicide use – if the crop emerges slowly from a cold, capped seed-bed it is always going to struggle, so going early is not always the answer. ADAS Bridgets carried out years of work and found crops drilled between 5 and 10 March performed the best.”
A litre of chlorothalonil at midtillering is very cost-effective insurance, he maintains. This tends to be followed with a 0.3-0.5 litres/ha of Siltra Xpro at GS30, which has largely replaced his previously favoured approach of 0.6 litres/ha of Fandango.
Where people don’t want to spend so much or if as last year Siltra Xpro is in short supply he’ll use half-rate Proline plus 0.75 litres/ha of Amistar Opti (azoxystrobin + chlorothalonil). “It’s a good combination – it has the prothioconazole and chlorothalonil to tackle rhyncho, net blotch and ramularia as well as strobilurin for added rust control.”
“He tends to hold his T2 spray until awns are at the “paintbrush” stage. Siltra Xpro is favoured here for its extra kick against ramularia, at 0.2-0.4 litres depending on disease presence and activity. Hopefully, this timing allows us to keep ahead of disease and provides a bit longer protection.”
“I wouldn’t want to delay much more as it is good to get in ahead of pollen scorch.” Typical target yields range from 6.5-7.5t/ha, and feed and malting crops will be treated the same.
“Feed barley is currently worth £170/t, only about £10/t less than malting, and is well worth protecting.”
“You could cut early chlorothalonil if there was no disease pressure, but I wouldn’t cut back any more. Spring barley may be less responsive than the winter crop, but it is still important to produce a clean, bold and bright sample.”