Enhancing yield of long season wheat varieties at Eneabba 2014 trial report

Page last updated: Tuesday, 2 July 2019 - 10:16am

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Wheat agronomy research in 2014 at Eneabba aimed to determine how management with foliar fungicide and an in-furrow fungicide influenced the profitability of long season wheat varieties with an early sowing opportunity. Fungicides had an impact on grain quality of the disease susceptible mid-long maturing varieties. Despite a relatively dry spring (decile 2-3) the average yield response to two applications of foliar fungicide was still nearly 0.8t/ha.


A higher yielding, longer maturing wheat variety is a desirable component of a cropping system to fully utilise an early start to a season and to reduce the risk of frost damage. Disease is a risk in the high rainfall and how will wheat variety choice and your management influence profitability on your paddocks.

Early sowing can increase the leaf disease (yellow spot/septoria) pressure on varieties. The trial will examine the yield response of varieties under natural disease levels or without any disease though the use of fungicide. In addition, root diseases are an increasing risk in continuous cropping rotations and a new in-furrow fertiliser dressing may provide control for both foliar and root disease.


Determine how management with foliar fungicide and an in-furrow fungicide may influence the profitability of long season wheat varieties with an early sowing opportunity at Eneabba.

Trial details

In this trial, 18 wheat varieties were sown at Eneabba and four disease management treatments were applied to each variety. There were three replicates of each treatment.

Table 1 Treatment and management details of long season wheat trial at Eneabba, in 2014
Location Eneabba
Wheat varieties

Yitpi, Magenta, Estoc, Mace, Cobra, Justica, Wyalkatchem; Harper and Trojan; WAGT328, IGW4012, IGW6046; ADV03.0056, ADV07.0094 and ADV08.0065.

Disease managment treatments
  1. Nil
  2. Foliar Fungicide (Prosaro at 150 milliletres per hecatre (mL/ha) on 1 July (when Magenta was at Z31 development stage) and 29 July (when Magenta was at Z39 development stage)
  3. IFFD: In-furrow treatment (Uniform®* at 400mL/ha)
  4. IFFD (Treatment 3) + Foliar Fungicide (Treatment 2)

Note: Uniform® (active ingredients: azoxystrobin + metalaxyl-m) is not yet registered for leaf spot control in wheat, Syngenta has application in process

Soil type Sandy loam

2013 - wheat; 2012 - lupin; 2011 - wheat

Plot size 1.54 metres (m) by 10m
Machinery used Seven row cone seeder
Repetition Three
Seeding date 5 May 2014 with Agstar Extra (100 kilograms per hectare) drilled with seed and urea (50kg/ha) topdressed at seeding.
Table 2 Soil test results (CSBP) at two sampling depths

Soil test results (CSBP)

Sampling depth

Sampling depth


Colour Grey Light brown
Nitrate nitrogen 26 milligrams (mg)/kg 13mg/kg
Ammonium nitrogen 2mg/kg 2mg/kg
Phosphorus colwell 31mg/kg 2mg/kg
Potassium colwell 103mg/kg 76mg/kg
Sulfur 8.1mg/kg 11.6mg/kg
Organic carbon 2.43% 0.67%
pH (CaCl2) 6.5 5.4


This trial was sown early in May, however despite this relatively early sowing date the longer maturing varieties did not perform significantly better than mid maturing varieties. This is most likely due to the environment (warm winter and low rainfall) not favouring the later maturity types or their susceptibility to leaf disease. The trial was sown into wheat stubble and disease pressure was high (a mixture of yellow spot and septoria nodorum blotch) early in the season (tillering – stem extension). Late rains in September may have supported late disease development (not measured) and this may have influenced yield penalties of susceptible varieties.

The trial was sown into moist soil with a high stubble load. Across all treatments, plant establishment averaged 145plants/m2.  A high level of leaf disease was evident at early growth stages (a mixture of yellow spot and septoria (stagonospora) nodorum blotch) but dry conditions limited the spread of disease up the canopy between stem extension and heading. Disease was assessed at three times – 14 July (Z31), 29 July (Z39) and 27 August (Z69) and involved assessing the diseased area on the top 4 leaves on 10 tillers per plot.

At first node stage (Z31), about 10 weeks after sowing, and prior to foliar fungicide treatment, the in-furrow fungicide was significantly reducing disease on the fourth leaf and varieties varied significantly in levels of disease (Table 3). There was no evidence of rhizoctonia at the site so the benefit of the in-furrow fertiliser dressing is most likely from early suppression of leaf disease.

Table 3 Disease incidence on wheat treated with in-furrow fungicide treatment
  Bremer Cobra Estoc Harper Justica Mace Magenta Trojan Wyalkatchem Yitpi Zen
IFFD 55 52 60 63 55 37 42 64 33 69 42
Nil 52 56 78 80 82 38 50 66 61 86 63
LSD (0.1) Fungicide x variety 17 (between) 17 within CV=19.2% Bold = sig different            

Following the foliar fungicide application in July (Z31), significant differences in disease severity were evident between varieties and fungicide was  significantly reducing disease on the fourth leaf. Average percentage leaf area diseased for fourth leaves was 65% in nil treatment but only around 50% in both in-furrow and foliar fungicide treatments. Due to low rainfall disease levels did not progress much during this period, consequently fungicide effects which we would have expected on leaves higher in the canopy were not observed. By the end of crop flowering there were no fungicide effects in terms of percentage disease observed on any of the leaves assessed but there were significant variety differences. The percentage average leaf area diseased of Cobra and Magenta were significantly less than Harper, Mace and Yitpi. Significant rain events occurred in early spring after the final disease assessment in late August. At the time of the field day, major differences between varieties were evident, with complete death of flag leaves in some untreated susceptible varieties and residual fungicide impacts evident on retention of green leaf area on flag leaves.

Despite a relatively dry spring (decile 2-3) the average yield response to two applications of foliar fungicide was still nearly 0.8t/ha. There was also an interaction between the fungicide treatments and variety, with varieties such as Mace and Zen achieving  high yields with the absence of fungicide and not responding as clearly to foliar fungicide. Meanwhile Trojan, Magenta, Yitpi and Cobra had a significant yield response with the application of foliar fungicide (Table 4).

Table 4 Effect of fungicide treatment on grain yield (t/ha) of selected wheat varieties in 2014
  Nil IFFD Foliar Fungicide Fungicde + IFFD average
Bremer 2.80 3.06 3.14 3.90 3.22
Cobra 2.33 2.76 3.41 3.23 2.93
Estoc 1.65 1.95 2.43 2.22 2.06
Harper 1.75 1.88 2.27 2.18 2.02
Justica CL Plus 1.45 1.71 2.12 2.54 1.96
Mace 2.99 2.68 2.99 3.78 3.11
Magenta 2.02 2.80 2.79 2.84 2.61
Trojan 1.35 1.75 2.58 2.85 2.13
Wyalkatchem 2.26 2.69 3.92 3.60 3.12
Yitpi 1.43 1.84 2.27 2.53 2.02
Zen 3.13 2.79 3.42 3.79 3.28
Average 2.11 2.36 2.85 3.04 2.59

Fungicide applications had the biggest impact on grain quality of the disease susceptible mid-long maturing varieties. Yitpi’s screenings reduced from 6.39% with nil fungicide to 4.62% with the application of foliar fungicide (Table 5). Similar responses were observed for Trojan and Harper (Table 5). In contrast, screenings of the mid-short maturing varieties Cobra, Mace and Wyalkatchem and more resistant mid-long maturing varieties Zen and Magenta were less than 5% for each fungicide treatment (Table 5). This site had high potential disease pressure, it was sown in early May into wheat stubble, resulting in extended exposure to inoculum of stubble borne diseases. Favourable weather for disease development in early growth stages resulted in significant disease development, particularly in susceptible varieties. Despite dry conditions in the mid-season limiting disease severity for a period, significant yield responses to fungicide were seen in most varieties, this is likely a response to disease development in early and later growth stages of the crop. No benefit from longer maturing varieties was evident.

Table 5 Effect of fungicide treatmens on screenings (%) of selected wheat varieties in 2014
  Nil IFFD Foliar Fungicide IFFD + Foliar fungicide Average
Bremer 3.18 2.42 2.57 2.61 2.70
Cobra 2.94 3.42 3.39 3.59 3.34
Estoc 9.80 8.10 5.79 5.81 7.37
Harper 8.68 7.43 6.74 6.98 7.46
Justica CL Plus 4.68 2.83 2.67 2.70 3.22
Mace 3.99 3.62 3.30 3.73 3.66
Magenta 4.19 4.03 3.87 3.81 3.98
Trojan 10.63 7.19 5.81 4.70 7.08
Wyalkatchem 3.33 2.81 2.55 2.40 2.77
Yitpi 6.39 5.11 4.62 5.61 5.43
Zen 2.13 1.93 1.74 1.66 1.86
Average 5.45 4.44 3.91 3.96 4.44
LSD(0.05) Fungicide 0.39% Variety 0.25% Fungicide x variety 0.62% (between) 0.50% (within) CV = 14.5%  


Financial support for this research is provided by Grains Research and Development Corporation. The research delivers to the outputs of the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development's projects DAW00218 Wheat agronomy systems profitability and DAW00229 Improving grower surveillance, management, epidemiology knowledge and tools to manage crop disease. Thank you to West Midlands Group and DPIRD's technical services team. Appreciation to Daniel Huberli, Geoff Thomas and Shah Miyan for support with research planning.

Enhancing yield of long season wheat varieties at Eneabba 2014 trial report


Christine Zaicou-Kunesch
Ciara Beard
Brenda Shackley