Entrants visit the trial in Herefordshire in 2019

Crop profitability depends on maximising margins, rather than yield alone.

Deciding on the optimum crop protection strategy in the spring requires judgement of the variety, its situation, and how yield affecting diseases can be controlled.

ADAS with the support of the AHDB and the wider industry set up the first Fungicide Margin challenge in 2019. Since then a total of 10 trials have been carried out over 3 years, allowing entrants to pit innovative strategies against others, against an ADAS experts' programme and against an untreated crop in replicated plot trials. The aim being to achieve the highest margin over fungicide cost. 

 

Trials receive all the same inputs, except for the fungicide programme. Entrants are each allocated plots for which they are responsible for designing the fungicide programme, based on information on the crop and updates during the season on disease development. All plots are monitored for disease, harvested and yields statistically analysed to establish which programmes achieved the highest margin over fungicide cost. 

The results of the 2021 trials are now available on the AHDB website: https://ahdb.org.uk/wheat-fungicide-margin-challenge-adas-ahdb 

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ADAS provides ideas, specialist knowledge and solutions to secure our food and enhance the environment. We understand food production and the challenges and opportunities faced by organisations operating in the natural environment

We deliver transformational projects to drive productivity and boost farming and supply chain businesses. We want the industry to thrive in a rapidly changing world and continue to produce high quality food, maintain our beautiful landscape and leave a legacy for generations to come. 

Diseases infect susceptible plant hosts, where environmental conditions favor disease development. Infected crops achieve lower yields and the quality of the produce can also be affected.

Yellow rust is an important economic disease of wheat. Often occurring more in the east of the UK and areas with mild winters and cool, damp summer weather. Yellow rust produces rows of yellowish orange pustules on leaves of plants. As a result green leaf area available for photosynthesis is reduced, reducing yields.

ADAS are planning a Nutrition Challenge to compare the effect of different nutrition programmes on winter feed wheat yield, N uptake and gross margin, in the 2022/23 season. This is particularly timely following the recent dramatic rise in nitrogen fertiliser prices, which has forced the industry to re-examine nutrition strategies. Objectives of the project are to showcase good nutrition products and practices so that farmers are equipped and encouraged to use fertiliser better, for the benefit of the environment and their own gross margins.

Driving Decision Making for Efficient & Sustainable Agricultural Production ADAS Digital Decision Support encompasses the way in which we use digital data and digital technology to deliver solutions in crop production, sustainable food and farming, land management and ecology to our clients.

Septoria Leaf Blotch (Septoria tritici) is considered to be the most damaging disease on UK winter wheat crops. Spread by rainsplash, this pathogen produces rectangular, necrotic lesions with visible black pycnidia on the leaves of wheat. As a result, green leaf area is reduced, reducing the plants ability to carry out photosynthesis, resulting in yield loss. Although wheat is the main host, this disease occasionally affects rye, triticale and some grass species.

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Multi-site fungicides appear to be making a valuable contribution in this year