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Optimising the Use of Fungicides in Distilling Wheat

A PhD thesis on the influence of fungicide application on grain yield and quality and on alcohol yield - with a focus on the winter wheat variety Glasgow.

Year of Publication2010

The influence of fungicide applications, predominantly at ear emergence on grain yield, quality and alcohol yield was investigated across three years, mainly on the winter wheat variety Glasgow. The additional physiological effect of different dose rates of azoxystrobin and different timings of azoxystrobin and isopyrazam were compared with a base fungicide programme involving several active ingredients, intended to give comprehensive disease control.Retention of green flag leaf area as affected by disease control following fungicide application showed a significant positive relationship with grain yield, quality and alcohol yield. Observations showed a positive relationship between green flag leaf area duration and thousand grain weight, this can be related to the grain yield increase of 0.20 t ha-1 for each day taken to reach Gompertz M (37% green flag leaf area). Similarly, increases in predicted alcohol yield of 0.34 LA/tonne were seen for each day taken to reach Gompertz M. Application of the base fungicide 0.5 l ha-1 prothioconazole + tebuconazole 125:125 g l-1 (Prosaro, Bayer CropScience, Milton) at ear emergence (GS 59) resulted in an overall increase in grain yield of 0.86 t ha-1 and 3.23 LA/tonne increase in predicted alcohol yield. Therefore the application of this fungicide increased predicted alcohol yield from 4,345 LA/hectare (9.65 t ha-1 x 450.25 LA/tonne) to 4,766 LA/hectare (10.51 t ha-1 x 453.48 LA/tonne) an increase of 421 LA/hectare. Economically the cost of this fungicide treatment was more than covered by the additional yield benefit. Additional inputs of azoxystrobin or isopyrazam at flag leaf emergence or ear emergence gave no additional overall benefit to yield or quality within this study.

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Supporting the development of the national rural economy.

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