An in-depth survey of Irish farmers conducted by the Kleffmann Group has indicated that the area of spring barley, winter wheat and winter barley all increased last year in 2012 and that the overall fungicide usage was stable, with the exception of treatments in spring barley. The new SDHI fungicides also took a good share of the market.The group conducts on-going comprehensive surveys of 400 Irish cereal farmers, collecting quantitative and qualitative information related to crop inputs. The most recent survey indicates an area of spring barley of 169,700 hectares, an area of winter wheat of 88,661 ha’s and winter barley 49,000 ha’s grown for Harvest 2012 in Ireland. The survey also showed that the value of the fungicide sector at wholesale level in Ireland increased from €34 million to €37 million. A breakdown of the two main cereal crops, spring barley and winter wheat, showed a slightly different picture. In winter wheat there was an increase in fungicides from €13.57 million to €15 million, whereas in spring barley there was a decrease from €14.2 million to €13.5 million. This was mainly due to the extraordinary weather conditions last spring.The number of fungicide treatments applied in winter wheat increased from 3.31 to 3.49, whereas the number of treatments applied to spring barley went down from 2.02 treatments per hectare in 2011 to 1.90 treatments per hectare in 2012.With the launch of several new SDHI fungicides in the past two seasons and the anticipated launch of a further product in 2013, we will be closely following the level of farm uptake developing this coming season, says Roger Pratchett, Director of IBR-Ltd.He reports that the overall number of cereal hectares treated with the new SDHI fungicides in Ireland nearly doubled from 2011 to 2012 to 255,000 ha’s. "It will be interesting to see how these new SDHIs and other new SDHI fare next year. Currently there are four countries in Europe (Germany, GB, Austria and Ireland) where these new SDHI’s have been launched and are currently being used." "Ireland has the biggest portfolio of these newer products." "Reflecting on the total fungicide usage in these different countries, the Kleffmann Group survey indicated that the new SDHI’s have taken a share of 25% of the cereal fungicide sector in Germany, a 39% share in Austria, a 17% share in Ireland and a 13% share in GB," he reports.