Growers worried about the forthcoming ban of a widely used fungicide, will be able to seek expert advice at a free trials event.

Organised under the Scottish Government’s Farm Advisory Service (FAS) programme, the cereal trials open evening in East Lothian will be delivered by specialists from SRUC. The event, on Thursday, June 27, is at Cauldshiel Farm, home to an SRUC trials site that features more than 2000 plots grown to provide information for the regional list varieties of wheat and barley as well as research trials on fertiliser efficiency, fungicide performance and novel products.

Event organiser, Donald Dunbar, from SAC Consulting, said: “The announcement in May of the withdrawal of the multi-site fungicide chlorothalonil (CTL) was a blow to wheat and barley growers alike. In wheat programmes, CTL had become a mainstay for its efficacy and role in cost-effective stewardship of fungicide resistance. For barley growers, they will be left without any fungicide product effective against the foliar disease, ramularia.”

More positively, he said, there had been progress on improving the variety resistance to the yield robbing wheat disease septoria tritici. At the evening event, Dr Steve Hoad will provide an update on disease ratings and target markets with variety KWS Extase for milling and LG Sundance for distilling setting new standards for septoria tritici resistance.

And, according to Dr Neil Havis, SRUC senior plant pathologist, novel products can also add a further line of disease defence. He is investigating how the use of elicitor products, which trigger a plant immune response, can provide another tool for growers to reduce reliance on fungicides.

There will also be an update from Dr Andy Evans on BYDV management, and SAC Consulting’s Julian Bell will give a business view on crop choice; covering costs and local and global markets.

The event starts at 4.45pm at Cauldshiel Farm, Haddington, EH41 4JR – courtesy of farmers Keith and Scott Maxwell. It is free, but those planning to attend are asked to register at or by phoning 0131 603 7520/01835 823 322.