Amongst some very interesting results from Frontier's Horningsea trials site, RAGT's wheat variety, Torch, has come out as one of the highest yielding treated variety of the 38 varieties put to the test. The variety also had the lowest untreated yields.
Jim Carswell of Frontier Agriculture points out that overall fungicide responses have been good this year. “Overall the fungicide response across all the wheat varieties in this trial were averaging 84% versus the untreated control, but Torch yielded 192% of control with possibly less fungicide than some growers have been using in their own fields. The fungicide treated Torch was recorded at 10.89 t/ha and 11.19 t/ha with the use of a PGR.”
The fungicide programme used in the trial was robust, but not extraordinary in terms of the products and rates applied for the season, commented Mr. Carswell. The programme consisted of four applications. At T0, growth stage 30, the plots received an epoxiconazole-based plus chlorothalonil spray, at T1 (GS 31/32) an epoxiconazole-based application, an SDHI at T2, growth stage 37-39 and a prothioconazole based spray and ear treatment applied at growth stage 57/61.
From the PGR programme used on the trial plots, there was no significant response across the 38 varieties, but there was an additional yield boost from Torch. The PGR programme was a conventional two treatment programme.
Carswell said that with responses like this to a standard fungicide and PGR programme, Torch must not be discounted. He suggests that the performance is down to the variety's inherent yield ability as well as a boost in ear numbers counted in the trials where PGR had been used.
"There's no doubt Torch needs careful management and a good starting point would be a rust-specific seed treatment like Jockey, which this trial didn't have. This would help give growers the assurance of getting off to a sound start to disease control."