Take-all, one of the most critical cereal diseases in Europe, reduces yields in soft wheat, durum wheat and barley. This invisible disease can only be controlled through good practice and, if necessary, the application of the single specific fungicide on the market, Latitude® XL, as a seed treatment prior to sowing.
Whilst certain situations (for example straw on straw rotations, light or calcareous soils, mild and wet winters) increase the risk of take-all damage, the farmer always faces the challenge of deciding whether or not to protect his harvest in this way. Since acquiring Latitude more than five years ago, Certis has been working on the development of tools to assist farmers in making the right decision in their fight against this highly damaging, root-attacking fungus. Efforts, including the identification of new technologies to help control the disease better and to maximise crop yield, have facilitated the provision to customers of the best solutions to manage take-all.
Raphaël Biezunski, Seed Treatment Technical Specialist at Certis Belchim, explains, ″Analysis of more than 2,000 take-all trials implemented in open fields across Europe over 25 years has led to the development of an algorithm allowing early assessment of the risk of take-all at plot level.
″We worked closely with academics and a start-up specializing in agro-meteorology to build, validate and visualize the result of this modelling. Pedoclimatic data was compiled to map theoretical take-all pressure all over Europe and, thanks to this project, we now have a much clearer view of the dynamics of the disease at European level.
″At the same time, we have carried out specific work with distributors to develop a modern, innovative tool allowing farmers to estimate in a few seconds the risk of take-all at plot level. This App, 'BonAtitude', is the first decision-making tool in existence for take-all and is available free of charge to farmers in France. ″
″'BonAtitude' allows farmers to identify both the risk and the presence of take-all in their cereal plots,″ says Vanessa Denaud, Seed Treatment Market Manager. ″Thanks to 'BonAtitude' and its digital disease assessment grid, it takes just 10 seconds to fill in the criteria and a few clicks to find out if the plot is at risk,″ she continues. ″The tool analyzes the pedo-climatic risk for the given postcode and 'BonAtitude' then offers the farmer the choice between three sowing periods, each of which corresponds to specific risk criteria. Once the sowing date and the rotation have been entered, the risk of take-all in the plot is immediately calculated.″
Further work recently completed models the future development of the disease in Europe, based on IPCC climate scenarios. The main conclusions drawn from these projections are that disease pressure is set to increase significantly and continuously in the coming years.
The 3 maps represent the calculated take-all risks for the future period (2021-2051; 2046-2076; 2071-2100).
Through the development of these tools (risk modelling, mapping, future climate impact projections), Certis continues to use the latest scientific and technological advances to support cereal growers better in managing the risk of take-all, one of the most worrying diseases for cereal crops.