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IPM strategies for septoria tritici blotch

Steven Kildea, Hilda Dooley, Deirdre Doyle, Fiona Hutton

Industry impact: Septoria tritici blotch (STB) caused by Zymoseptoria tritici continues to be the most economically destructive disease of Irish winter wheat crops. As a wet weather disease, Irish crops are at considerable risk and, as such, Irish farmers must apply fungicides to protect potential yields. Unfortunately, this combination has meant that the Irish Zymoseptoria tritici population has developed resistance to the main fungicides used for its control. In light of these changes, and continued regulatory pressures on the availability of multisite fungicides, Teagasc research is ongoing to determine the best means to ensure that Irish winter wheat crops are protected, but equally to discover how best to manage resistance to current and future fungicide chemistries. To achieve these goals Teagasc combines detailed sensitivity monitoring with an extensive programme of field trials throughout the main wheat growing regions in Ireland. These have resulted in an increased awareness of the need to maximise the concept of integrated pest management in cereal disease control programmes, with increased emphasis being placed on both varietal choice and agronomic practices used by growers. Resulting control strategies are recommended by Teagasc tillage specialists and advisors and published in national and international press.

Correspondence: stephen.kildea@teagasc.ie

Contribution of non-research stakeholders:

Septoria-infected leaf samples were supplied by Teagasc Advisory staff. Control strategies are developed in consultation with the Teagasc tillage specialists.

Funding: Funding for this research was provided under the Teagasc Walsh Fellowship scheme and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Research Stimulus Fund (11S113 & 13S503).