The Drummonds trial site allows the company’s agronomists to back up their advice to farmers with trials in the field which have tested fungicide and nutrition applications and timings.

A large part of the trial site goes to selecting varieties that suit the region the company’s growers are operating in. Varieties such as Molly winter barley and Rockway and Skyway spring barley came from that site for this year’s crops.

At the Drummonds winter conference recently, agronomist Michael Howard displayed some of the key findings.

Molly winter barley

Molly winter barley yielded 400kg/ha more than untreated winter barley.

Molly, which claims a resistance to barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV), did not receive an aphicide and yielded 400kg/ac higher than the control. Genetics is proving one of the best ways to improve BYDV control.

Sulphur

Michael noted that winter wheat which received sulphur at T0 yielded highest in trials over three years.

He said not all sulphurs are the same. Some work as nutrition, some as bio-stimulants and some turns into hydrogen sulphide gas, which is toxic to septoria and to consult with your agronomist on the best strategy.

Potash

Potash at T3 on winter wheat as a foliar application has performed consistently Michael said.

He explained that potash helps to allow glucose and other plant food to move up the stem to give better grain fill.

Seaweed

He said that seaweed at T1 and T2 on winter wheat can help to reduce stress, especially in terms of drought and water logging.

Winter barley two-spray fungicide programme

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In Drummonds trials, a two-spray fungicide programme has out-yielded a three-spray fungicide programme in all years.

However, this comes with a big warning. If you move further south, disease pressure will most likely be much higher, so a three-spray programme may be essential. Timing of applications is important here.

To hear more from the Drummonds winter conference, click here.

For some advice from Drummonds agronomy manager Brian Reilly, click here.