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Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Let crop stage guide your fungicide timing in cereals

wheat & barley

To get the most out of your fungicide application in spring cereals, pay attention to crop stage. Here are the main timings to consider:

  • T1 application at herbicide timing, often tank-mixed with a herbicide.
  • T2 application at flag leaf stage before the head emerges from the boot.
  • T3 application at heading during flowering. Optimal timing is when 75 per cent of heads across the entire field are emerged to when 50 per cent of the heads are in flower.

While these key timings matter for all spring cereals, which one should be given priority changes depending on the crop you are planning to treat: spring wheat, durum, winter wheat or barley.

That’s because each of these crops build yield in a different way, so knowing what parts of each of these plants contribute most to yield will help you time your fungicide application accordingly so that you get the right protection on the right plant at the right time.

Here are some guidelines to consider.

Spring wheat/durum. The priority should be on a T3 fungicide application. This provides protection against fusarium head blight (FHB) and leaf disease to give you both yield and quality at harvest.

For over ten years, Bayer has been conducting both flag leaf and head timing trials in wheat (over 180 grower-cooperated, replicated trials). This work shows that the average yield from head timing is consistently greater than the average yield from flag leaf timing.1

Barley. There are two options here. The priority should be on a T3 fungicide application. This provides FHB protection and you’ll see both yield and quality benefits come harvest.

If FHB pressure is low and/or if fusarium diseased kernels and DON levels aren’t a factor when it comes to the end use or selling of your grain, a T2 fungicide application may be the better option.

Why even consider a T2 in barley but not wheat? It comes down to the leaves that most contribute to grain fill on each plant. In barley, the penultimate leaf and leaf sheaf contributes up to 65 per cent of the yield, while in wheat the flag leaf and the head contribute 65 per cent of the yield. This is why barley responds better to a T2 application than wheat and should be considered if FHB isn’t a priority.

Percent contribution to yield wheat & barley Source: Alberta Wheat and Barley Commission

Sometimes, weather and other agronomic factors can make it difficult to decide and hit the right timing, be it a T2 or T3 fungicide application in barley. When that happens, the best strategy might be using a flex-timing product like Folicur® EW fungicide. Folicur EW can be used at T2 or T3, or even somewhere in between, which is often the case with barley since flowering starts almost as soon as the head emerges out of the boot, so the difference between a T2 and T3 timing can be just a few days.

Winter wheat. The most accepted and successful practice is a T1 fungicide applied at herbicide timing, followed by a T3 later in the season. This is a popular practice among growers in Ontario and Québec where it has proven to boost yield and grade results year after year.

At T1 timing, fungicide is applied with herbicide, often in a tank-mix, in spring for early season weed and leaf disease control. This is followed by a T3 fungicide application at flowering takes care of FHB, which helps to lower DON levels.

This recommendation has been well tested and proven through Bayer field trials and confirmed by the SMART trials done by the University of Guelph and OMAFRA.

Bayer has you covered.

There’s a right time and place for every fungicide, so choose the right product for the right timing. Bayer has a portfolio of trusted cereal fungicides for every situation.

  • Prosaro® XTR fungicide is the number one selling cereal fungicide product in Canada because of its proven performance on your farm. It's a T3 application powerhouse that can be used in all wheat and barley for FHB protection, DON reduction and leaf disease control, all providing you with more yield at harvest. The mefenpyr-diethyl component even enhances the plant's ability to mitigate stress.
  • Delaro® fungicide was recently registered for cereals in Western Canada. It's a T2 application specialist with two modes of action to protect that all-important penultimate leaf in barley.
  • Folicur® EW fungicide is a proven, strong performer at both T2 and T3 timing. It makes fungicide application in barley easy because it can be used for both.
  • Stratego® PRO fungicide has two modes of action and is ideal to protect winter wheat against early leaf diseases by applying it a T1, tank-mixed with your herbicide. It's long residual activity protects your crop until you can get back in with a T3 application at heading.