Tuesday, 15 April 2014

A suite of PGR’s just right for a busy season ahead

It will be a busy season ahead for growth regulation as there are many forward cereal crops with high plant counts. Winter crops were drilled in good conditions, established well in the autumn and they have moved through the growth stages rapidly, to reach the spring well ahead of normal.
 They are vulnerable to lodging. Advanced winter wheat and winter barley that have reached stem extension early are crying out for a programme of two growth regulators this year, in order to keep them standing and to reduce the risk of lodging.

Stewart Woodhead, Technical Manager for Interfarm, explains that plant growth regulators are vital tools to reduce lodging in cereals, which could be a very serious problem this year, leading to a two spray programme in both winter wheat and winter barley.  “Cerone (which contains ethepon) reduces plant height, increases stem strength and reduces lodging risk. It has the flexibility of being used between GS 32 to GS 37, but is reliably the most effective growth regulator at GS37. For this reason it is usually recommended as the second spray in the PGR programme, following robust T1 PGR treatments, which are already underway in the field. You can use Cerone in winter wheat, winter barley, winter rye and triticale to maximise stem strength and help prevent lodging. Best response is obtained when crops are actively growing. It is important to avoid spraying crops where the leaf sheath has split and ears are visible.”

“We also have Upgrade and Strate which contain 2-chloroethylphophonic acid and chlormequat and can be used either early or late to reduce lodging in winter wheat, winter barley and spring barley. The best timing for Upgrade and Strate is at flag leaf just visible (GS 37), so will fit as the second spray in a two-spray programmes.”