NovaChem > Industry News > 2017 > Sea change needed in cereal fungicide resistance: UK expert

Sea change needed in cereal fungicide resistance: UK expert

Published on 30/10/2017

Bailey visited New Zealand in late July to share his expertise in a series of industry meetings attended by agronomists and arable reps.

The respected researcher on fungicides and resistance wasn’t pulling any punches as he described Ireland and the UK’s 2003 resistance wake-up call and the recognition of the need for a ‘sea change’ in the approach that followed.

“In the past we’d relied on the curative activity of compounds such as azoles [DMIs], and that curative activity used to be very, very strong against Septoria. Now that curative activity has been eroded and we need to be applying products before the first signs of disease.”

In Ireland and the UK the loss of sensitivity in DMIs’ curative action is up to 70 per cent.

“Right now, we’re much further down the resistance path than you are here in NZ.”

SDHIs, too, are increasingly under the microscope in Ireland and the UK.

“The situation with the SDHIs now is reaching a level where some of the key influencers in Ireland and the UK believe that we’re almost on the edge of a precipice in terms of actually seeing field performance issues.”

He believes that rather than something having gone particularly wrong to create the resistance, it is simply the almost inescapable outcome of the interaction between fungicides and disease.

“Ultimately, if you’re using single site acting fungicides, resistance will develop and it develops over a period of time depending on things including disease pressure, and how many times the fungicides are sprayed.

“The UK and Irish situation is that we get a lot of Septoria and we spray a lot of fungicides and I think we just created the situation where you would almost inevitably get resistance.”

Bailey emphasised the importance of early applied, multi-site chemistry to help prolong the effective life of site-specific fungicides.

“Growers in NZ have the option of a multisite in the form of Phoenix. And I would absolutely implore them to embrace the use of it for resistance management and also as a very effective contact protectant fungicide against Septoria. It should be the first thing in the tank.”

Phoenix, (Phthalimide – Group M4) which contains the active ingredient folpet, works against Septoria at multiple sites, making it a low risk for resistance development. Currently there is no known resistance to folpet anywhere in the world.

Adama recommends the early season application of Phoenix with DMIs such as Bolide, which is being launched in NZ this season. Bolide, a new all-rounder Group 3 DMI fungicide (epoxiconazole and prochloraz) provides broader spectrum control of key cereal diseases and excellent performance against Septoria, with two actives giving better control than standard triazole products.

Daren Mabey, commercial manager of Adama NZ, says Andy Bailey’s visit indicated Adama’s level of concern about Septoria resistance.

“We’ve seen the impact it’s already having here and it’s not something that anyone can afford to ignore.

“Sound resistance management strategies and programmes have become imperatives, not ‘nice-to-haves’. We’ve lost some sensitivity, and we definitely don’t want it to get to UK levels.”

The best time to apply a multi-site fungicide like Phoenix with Bolide is at T1, when leaf 3 emerges. Keeping leaf 3 clean is essential for maintaining full yield potential as the crop reaches maturity.

For more information on how to future proof your farmers’ resistance management strategy with visit

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