Control of Helminthosporium leaf blight of spring wheat using seed treatments and single foliar spray in Indo-Gangetic Plains of Nepal
Four fungicides for seed treatments and one as foliar spray were tested in replicated field experiments in a strip plot design to determine the effect of fungicides on Helminthosporium leaf blight (caused by Cochliobolus sativus and Pyrenophora tritici-repentis) severity and grain yield of wheat. Wheat seed cv. RR 21 was treated with fungicides, carbendazim (Areestin), triadimenol (Baytan), tebuconazole (Raxil), and carboxin þ thiram (Vitavax 200B). Single foliar application of propiconazole (Tilt) was sprayed at flowering stage. Controls were included for both factors and treatments were replicated four times. Triadimenol and carboxin þ thiram increased seed germination in both years. Triadimenol, tebuconazole, and carboxin þ thiram reduced the number of infected seedlings and seedling root rot severity in both years. Number of tillers was higher in carboxin þ thiram treated plots compared to other seed treatments. Compared to the control, carboxin þ thiram increased grain yield by 9% and 8% in 2004 and 2005, respectively, and triadimenol by 6% in both years. The foliar spray of propiconazole significantly reduced Helminthosporium leaf blight severity and increased thousand-kernel weights. Propiconazole spray increased grain yield by 15% and 14% in 2004 and 2005, respectively. Therefore, seed treatment either with triadimenol or carboxin þ thiram in combination with single post-flowering foliar spray of fungicides should minimize grain yield loss due to wheat foliar blight in South Asia. The findings of this study could be useful in developing strategies to manage Helminthosporium leaf blight in South Asia and other warm wheat growing regions of the world.