Are fungicides more harmful than insecticides

Hjwise

Member
Mixed Farmer
Someone said on this forum (more eloquently than I can) that products have gone through field trials to show consistent yield benefits so the ones that are damaging to natural fungi in the soil are selected out. Makes sense.
 

Hindsight

Member
Location
Lincolnshire
We hear all the Time of farmers using less insecticides, and for good reason generally, but I do wonder if the real bad apple is modern fungicides.
Amazing how many are now farming without insecticides after years of addiction, can we start to cut our reliance on fungicides too?

Not forced to use fungicides Will. Select a reasonably robust variety and Bobs your Uncle. The Recommended List has a untreated section to help you choose.
 

Charles Quick

Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Somerset
Someone said on this forum (more eloquently than I can) that products have gone through field trials to show consistent yield benefits so the ones that are damaging to natural fungi in the soil are selected out. Makes sense.
This could be due to the fungicide killing mycorrhizal fungi or other species in the rhizosphere, where you would reasonably expect a systemic fungicide to be excreted. The resultant mineralisation of nutrients would cause a yield increase. In other words, I would see a yield increase in the absence of disease, to be a bad thing. It shows that there is something going on that we don't fully understand!

I think that multiple small applications of non-systemic fungicides, e.g. Folpet, CTL (RIP), applied preventatively to each major leaf as it emerges, is a viable strategy. This way you can use reduced rates as all the chemical has to do is inhibit spore germination. Back when it was legal I used 0.6 CTL four or five times through the season, with 10 - 20 day timings depending on the weather conditions. I had to add a sniff of Teb occasionally for any rust foci, but otherwise it was a very clean and cost effective strategy, coming in at less than £30/ha. The only downside is you need to have the sprayer capacity to get over all your area at short notice.

This year I plan to do similar, with 4 applications of half rate Folpet, 1kg elemental sulphur and 1L molasses. My varieties are Extase, Theodore and Graham. If the season starts to break down I can always bring in the 'firehose' chemicals at short notice.
 
Last edited:

Hjwise

Member
Mixed Farmer
This could be due to the fungicide killing mycorrhizal fungi or other species in the rhizosphere, where you would reasonably expect a systemic fungicide to be excreted. The resultant mineralisation of nutrients would cause a yield increase. In other words, I would see a yield increase in the absence of disease, to be a bad thing. It shows that there is something going on that we don't fully understand!

I think that multiple small applications of non-systemic fungicides, e.g. Folpet, CTL (RIP), applied preventatively to each major leaf as it emerges, is a viable strategy. This way you can use reduced rates as all the chemical has to do is inhibit spore germination. Back when it was legal I used 0.6 CTL four or five times through the season, with 10 - 20 day timings depending on the weather conditions. I had to add a sniff of Teb occasionally for any rust foci, but otherwise it was a very clean and cost effective strategy, coming in at less than £30/ha. The only downside is you need to have the sprayer capacity to get over all your area at short notice.

This year I plan to do similar, with 4 applications of half rate Folpet, 1kg elemental sulphur and 1L molasses. My varieties are Extase, Theodore and Graham. If the season starts to break down I can always bring in the 'firehose' chemicals at short notice.
CTL will be missed. Why was it banned (other than the chemical companies not willing to fight for it due to low margin)?
Extase took a bit of a battering on this forum, but it was our best performing variety as Parkin and Gravity both suffered from late septoria.
 
Last edited:

Hindsight

Member
Location
Lincolnshire
This could be due to the fungicide killing mycorrhizal fungi or other species in the rhizosphere, where you would reasonably expect a systemic fungicide to be excreted. The resultant mineralisation of nutrients would cause a yield increase. In other words, I would see a yield increase in the absence of disease, to be a bad thing. It shows that there is something going on that we don't fully understand!

I think that multiple small applications of non-systemic fungicides, e.g. Folpet, CTL (RIP), applied preventatively to each major leaf as it emerges, is a viable strategy. This way you can use reduced rates as all the chemical has to do is inhibit spore germination. Back when it was legal I used 0.6 CTL four or five times through the season, with 10 - 20 day timings depending on the weather conditions. I had to add a sniff of Teb occasionally for any rust foci, but otherwise it was a very clean and cost effective strategy, coming in at less than £30/ha. The only downside is you need to have the sprayer capacity to get over all your area at short notice.

This year I plan to do similar, with 4 applications of half rate Folpet, 1kg elemental sulphur and 1L molasses. My varieties are Extase, Theodore and Graham. If the season starts to break down I can always bring in the 'firehose' chemicals at short notice.

You have started with the appropriate varieties. Genetic resistance is key if not planning to use the systemic fungicides.
 

willy

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Rutland
You have started with the appropriate varieties. Genetic resistance is key if not planning to use the systemic fungicides.
Possibly not true, its like anything a healthy diet can prove more adventageous than genetics, although admittedly genetics help.

A healthy plant is way less at risk than a weakened plant regardless of genetics.

All I'm saying is keep your eyes wide open. We as farmers often don't use our eyes to see what is going on aswell as we always should.

How many trials are their to show that their fungicide is better than their rivals, data is data its how its used that matters.
 

Hindsight

Member
Location
Lincolnshire
Possibly not true, its like anything a healthy diet can prove more adventageous than genetics, although admittedly genetics help.

A healthy plant is way less at risk than a weakened plant regardless of genetics.

All I'm saying is keep your eyes wide open. We as farmers often don't use our eyes to see what is going on aswell as we always should.

How many trials are their to show that their fungicide is better than their rivals, data is data its how its used that matters.

I appreciate you are into plant health. Mmm. I will go for both. Have seen the past few years a few fields where the farmer and agronomist has 'fed' the plant with trace elements and various potions. And not applied any fungicide. To see Yellow and Brown Rust in action. So for me genetics are as much key as 'plant health' if not using fungicides. But each to their own and I will be first to eat my hat if wrong. Cheers.
 

Charles Quick

Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Somerset
I get the point of using biostimulants, potions etc, but is it really worth £10+/ha?
A litre of molasses costs me 25p. Can't find any meaningful data comparing the two, and for the price I'm happy to just slap on a litre with every spray pass. Pretty sure I get my money back on the nutrient analysis on its own, let alone any 'magic' it may impart.
 

Bigjon44

Member
Yeah biostims are very expensive and do they actually repay their input?
I used 2 litres maxi triple last year on wheat which is a whole lot cheaper and did just as much good imo
 

Charles Quick

Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Somerset
Any feed company. I got mine through Mole Valley
You'll need to be able to accept a minimum 5,000L delivery. I bought the basic spec, but you can get flowable grades which might be easier to work with.
 

Gong Farmer

Member
BASIS
Location
Glos
Soil fauna is so delicately balanced, any foreign chemical applied to the soil (even fertiliser) will upset it.

Didn't carbendazim go for this reason? I think CTL also but in this case I suspect it was more of 'let's find a reason to ban it so we don't have to pay for approvals any more'.
 
All pesticides have a deleterious affect on one species or another. Soil microfauna and flora are probably on the list as well. Growing monoculture is probably borking something similarly as well.

Unless you want to walk away from the yield that fungicides bring, you are back in the we're doing this to grow food and making the best of a bad job type of scenario.
 

snarling bee

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Bedfordshire
Isn't it also a coincidence that every year we need more passes and stronger doses to stay where we where 30 years ago
Thats to do with varietal breakdown to yellow rust and septoria becoming 'immune' to fungicides. If we all stopped monocropping large areas of wheat then I'm sure the problem would go away. But if we want to be a farmers thats what we do, whether you have a 10 course rotation or continuous wheat.
 
Thats to do with varietal breakdown to yellow rust and septoria becoming 'immune' to fungicides. If we all stopped monocropping large areas of wheat then I'm sure the problem would go away. But if we want to be a farmers thats what we do, whether you have a 10 course rotation or continuous wheat.

What you guys need is GM wheat that can resist these diseases properly. We shouldn't even be having the conversation about rusts or BYDV because the genes for resistance are already out there.
 

Make Tax Digital Software Poll

  • Quickbooks

    Votes: 26 17.9%
  • Sage

    Votes: 12 8.3%
  • Xero

    Votes: 64 44.1%
  • Other

    Votes: 43 29.7%

Five nature-recovery projects spanning 100,000ha launched

  • 44
  • 0
Written by Michelle Martin from Agriland

Image-source-Savills-field-640x360.jpg
Five nature-recovery projects spanning nearly 100,000ha across the West Midlands, Cambridgeshire, the Peak District, Norfolk and Somerset have been announced by the government and Natural England today (Thursday, May 26).

This is the equivalent in size to all 219 current National Reserves.

The aim of the projects is to deliver nature recovery at a landscape scale, helping to tackle biodiversity loss, climate change and improve public health and well-being.

All five projects will make a significant contribution towards the national delivery of the international commitment to protect at least 30% of land and...
Top