FUNGICIDE RESISTANCE BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES
1 USE AGRONOMIC PRACTICES THAT PROMOTE HEALTHY PLANTS
- Use resistant varieties or cultivars for problematic diseases in your area. For example, if you know that net blotch is an issue on barley in neighbouring fields, plant a variety that is resistant or moderately resistant to this disease.
- Know what environmental conditions contribute to disease development and be aware of disease issues in previous years. Monitor and manage high-risk areas separately.
- Rotate field crops to reduce pathogen populations. Diseases can persist on stubble, in some weed populations, in soil between seasons and over the winter. Rotating crops helps break the cycle.
- Reduce crop stress by: optimizing planting date, planting at the proper seed depth, using high-quality seed, controlling other pests, and minimizing herbicide injury.
- Use quality seed treatments when possible. For some crops, soil- and seed-borne pathogens can be a source of disease.
2 EVALUATE THE NEED FOR DISEASE CONTROL
- Assess your level of disease risk in your crop for that year based on agronomic factors (for example crop type and stage), disease issues in previous years, and environmental conditions in the current year. For some pathogens, such as late blight, Sclerotinia, Fusarium Head Blight and apple scab, preventative fungicide applications can be beneficial.
- Scout fields to identify problems and assess early and often. Correctly determine the level of disease risk before deciding whether fungicides are needed.
- If you have a high disease risk based on agronomic and environmental factors, very early fungicide applications can be beneficial to prevent populations from getting out of control. For example, forage crops should be scouted for leaf spots prior to head emergence (grasses) or the vegetative to early bloom stages (legumes).
- Be aware that different diseases have different levels of risk to resistance.
- Minimize the number of treatments applied per season, and apply only when necessary. Follow the product label and do not exceed the number of applications permitted per year.
- Review cultural practices and environmental conditions and apply fungicide if risk to yield or quality is greater than cost of application.
- Scout after application and use unsprayed check strips to evaluate the application’s effectiveness.
- Keep and regularly review records to make good crop management decisions from year to year.
- Consult with a crop advisor to help troubleshoot strategies as required.
3 SELECT FUNGICIDES STRATEGICALLY
- Use fungicides that are labelled for the diseases that pose a threat to your crop yield.
- Some pathogens are more likely to develop resistance and some fungicides are easier for diseases to develop resistance to. Know the risk level in your crop/disease combination to help you choose effective cultural practices and products.
- Fungicide groups have been classified according to their level of risk. The Fungicide Resistance Action Committee (FRAC) groups codes are used to distinguish the different fungicide groups based on their mode of action (MoA) and their resistance risk. Click here for a list of fungicides and their resistance risk level.
- Rotate fungicide groups both during a growing season and between growing seasons, either through tank mixes or alternating sprays with fungicides that have different modes of action but work on the same target disease.
- Mix fungicides. Combinations of two or more fungicides with different modes of action against the targeted pathogen, applied as a mixture at the recommended rates according to label directions, can delay the onset of resistance. For a mixture to be truly multi-mode of action, both modes of action need to be effective on the same disease species.
- Avoid using at-risk fungicides when possible.
4 MAXIMIZE FUNGICIDE EFFICACY
- Use in-crop scouting and/or verified predictive models to determine the need and optimal timing of spray application. Consult the product label for the most effective time to spray.
- Be mindful of proper spray techniques and adequate water volumes when applying fungicides, whether the disease is foliar, seed, or tuber. When there is more foliage, spraying will require a greater water load to ensure adequate coverage and control disease.
Watch the Resistance Management School videos to learn more!
Episode 8: In this episode we’re talking about how herbicide resistant weeds spread across Ontario and the continent.
Episode 7: How do you assess your risk of developing resistant weeds on your farm?
Episode 6: Manitoba farmer Gunther Jochum talks about their wild oat issues in this episode of the Resistance Management School.
Episode 5: Dr. Linda Hall discusses the state of herbicide resistance in Western Canada, and what growers can do about it.
Episode 4: Mike Cowbrough of OMAFRA joins us to discuss testing for herbicide resistance.
Episode 3: Lauren Benoit from the University of Guelph talks about how to manage multiple resistance in water hemp, discovered earlier this year in Ontario. […]
Episode 2: Kelvin Heppner talks to Rob Gulden about seeding rates in this episode of the Resistance Management School.
Episode 1: Dr. Peter Sikkema discusses the status of herbicide-resistant weeds in Ontario and provides growers with some best management practices.