Get an early warning of Light Leaf Spot with new SwiftDetect test

18 July 2022

Are you dreading Light Leaf Spot this season?

An economically important disease of oilseed rape in the UK, Light Leaf Spot can claim up to 30% of your yield.

Polycyclic, it spreads at an alarming rate and so catching the disease early is key to control. Something that’s easier said than done.

Following a long latent period, symptoms are almost microscopic when they do emerge. Yet treatment at these early stages will give you the greatest chance of protecting your crop.

To try and overcome this, you may find yourself blanket spraying fungicides as a preventative measure. A necessary precaution, but one that’s contributing to fungicide resistance as well as environmental challenges.

Thanks to rapid test SwiftDetect, there’s now a better way.

SwiftDetect has been put to work over the last year, trialling several treated and untreated varieties of oilseed rape. The test, originally created for the pharmaceutical industry, can accurately test down to a few pathogen cells of disease in crops, yielding results in just 1 business day.

It’s already available for wheat and barley disease, benefitting Farmers and Agronomists with actionable insight into levels of Septoria, Ramularia and more.

Using SwiftDetect, you’ll know in real time if your oilseed rape is infected and if so, how much Light Leaf Spot is present. This means you can:

Get an early warning of disease.

Dr Charles Grant, who has been leading research into latent testing of Light Leaf Spot with SwiftDetect, notes: “the pre-disease phase of Light Leaf Spot provides a golden window of opportunity for the most efficacious use of fungicides”.

“We’ve shown SwiftDetect can quantify latent disease levels before visible signs emerge, so you can take advantage of this window to treat your crop effectively”.

Spray according to disease levels

“Pre-empting disease through forecast predictions or applying fungicides during developmental stages may fail to address uncharacteristic pathogen outbreaks” comments Charles.

“It may also result in the unnecessary use of costly treatments when the pathogen is absent”.

Instead, your SwiftDetect results will allow you to only spray when you need to. This will ensure your yield is better protected and could even save you money by preventing fungicide waste.

Tailor your treatment.

You can also use SwiftDetect to tailor your dose rate and product type, as well as provide you with an idea of which field to prioritise.

“Early in the growing season during our trials, we found Light Leaf Spot was absent in Dart, present at low levels in Duplo and CrossFit, and present at high levels in Duke.

In practice, this could mean delaying costly fungicide applications in low detection fields and targeting applications to specific fields with high or early pathogen detection.

This would reduce both overall cost and selection for fungicide resistance”, adds Charles.

SwiftDetect will be available to order online or over the phone from 12th September. In the meantime, though, register your interest to get 25% off when it's available.