From tools and videos, to web pages and publications, AHDB is strengthening its cereal disease management guidance for 2020 – which is a welcome move given the fast pace of change in disease and available chemistry.

Its cereals and oilseeds information is now on a new website, which will cover all content – and AHDB has also announced plans to update the industry on the status of the UK’s cereal pathogen populations.

Its wheat and barley disease management guide and associated web pages are major new resources. Together, they will provide the in-depth information required to tackle major cereal diseases through integrated pest management (IPM).

Complementing the popular AHDB Encyclopaedia of cereal diseases, the new guidance highlights disease risk factors and provides at-a-glance management solutions. Target disease web pages dive deeper and explore hosts, life cycles and symptoms.

The pages also bring together developments on non-chemical and chemical control, including fungicide performance data and tips on designing fungicide programmes.

Catherine Harries, who manages disease research at AHDB, said: “Our industry embraces digital solutions. In the fast-paced world of crop protection, this is good news. When chemistry is lost, fungicide resistance rears its head or varietal resistance is overcome, we can adapt our guidance accordingly.”

The AHDB Recommended Lists (RL) has exploited the digital arena for many years, with results released online months ahead of the physical publication. To add value to the RL, the 2020/21 data was launched alongside an online variety selection tool. Later this year, AHDB plans to issue an RL app to ensure the latest varietal information is always at farmers’ fingertips.

Last year, it issued winter wheat disease ratings for yellow rust and brown rust online ahead of the full RL. This followed reports of higher than expected disease levels during the 2018/19 growing season. However, varietal resistance was in line with recent years and no major changes in resistance ratings occurred.

However, an analysis of wheat samples, gathered during the 2018/19 season, should provide a clearer picture of whether a shift in the UK yellow and brown rust populations has occurred.