Growers are being encouraged to feed spring barley crops to reduce the risk of ramularia this season.
Alistair Gordon, regional technical manager in Scotland for Robertson Crop Services, which is part of ProCam UK Limited, said spring barley crops in the north and north-east were looking good but in need of rain.
“At the moment, we are looking at trying to put a foliar feed with trace elements of manganese, copper and zinc, on spring barley crops,” said Mr Robertson.
He said this would help reduce stress on the plants, and in turn their susceptibility to ramularia – a disease which can result in yield losses of up to 1.2 tonnes per acre in heavily infected barley crops.
Mr Gordon said this was particularly important as growers would no longer have access to chlorothalonil after May 20, and other fungicides to treat ramularia were less effective.