Take-all in winter wheat - management guidelines (HGCA Autumn 2006)

Volunteer cereals and grass weeds

Cereal volunteers (not oats in most of the UK) and some grass weeds, particularly couch and barren brome, carry the take-all fungus through break crops. In first wheats the risk of take-all increases in proportion to the density of volunteers or weeds.

Early destruction of volunteers (Figure 3) and grass weeds or grass covers on set-aside, reduces the risk to first winter wheats. Take-all may, however, survive or even multiply on couch rhizomes after foliage has been killed.

Figure 3. Take-all in first wheat after oilseed rape in which wheat volunteers were or were not controlled

Rothamsted Research

Take-all decline, like the fungus itself, diminishes during a break from wheat. Introducing a set-aside break into a relatively short run of cereals may result in loss of take-all decline, more so in the presence of some weed grasses, eg ryegrass, barren brome (Figure 4) or black-grass.

Figure 4. Effects of two grass species (grown with or without wheat after two wheat crops) on take-all in the following wheat crop

Rothamsted Research

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