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Crop Advice & Expertise

Sign up to Bayer’s SpotCheck initiative

Launched in 2017, our free SpotCheck service provides growers and agronomists with a conclusive diagnosis of disease prevalence in oilseed rape crops, with a particular focus on light leaf spot, which is a notoriously difficult disease to identify.

The project, in partnership with ADAS and the Association of Independent Crop Consultants (AICC), has assessed over 1,200 samples in its first two years, providing a wealth of information on oilseed rape diseases across the UK.

For more information on results from SpotCheck 2018/19 visit our blog here.

Disease identification

When samples are received by ADAS, they are incubated at room temperature for 2 – 3 days, to encourage the light leaf spot symptoms to express on the leaf surface. Each of the leaves is then individually inspected and assessed for light leaf spot, Phoma, powdery mildew and downy mildew. If the leaf is suspected to be displaying disease symptoms it is then inspected again under a hand lens or microscope.

The assessment findings are then emailed back within five working days, allowing for spray decisions to be made based on the results.

Take part in SpotCheck

To utilise SpotCheck you will need to:

  1. Request a sample pack from ADAS. Call Philip Walker at ADAS, Boxworth, on 01954 268200.
  2. Collect 30 – 35 leaves from a single field of oilseed rape, by walking in a ‘W’ pattern. (1 leaf from each plant.)
  3. Fill out the short sample assessment form and send the leaves to ADAS in the freepost envelope supplied.
  4. ADAS will assess the leaves and provide a diagnosis via email within five working days.

Should I sample prior to any fungicide applications where possible?

The objective of SpotCheck is to confirm the presence (or absence) of disease in commercial crops. Therefore, samples can be sent before or after a fungicide application, as long as we know if/when fungicide was applied.

If plants/leaves are sampled within about two weeks following fungicide application it is unlikely that we will see disease symptoms (except for old symptoms which were already present) so the value to the grower/agronomist is likely to be diminished.

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How long after a fungicide application should we leave it before sampling?

We ask that growers and agronomists avoid sampling within 24 hours of any pesticide application.  From a safety perspective no-one should be handling crops that have just been sprayed.

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