We've grown some winter cereals for the first time this year. Costello winter wheat on our best draining land. We perhaps foolishly thought coming out of a 10 year grass ley and with plenty of organic manure to apply if we could get through to harvest and get the crop off that it would be a fairly risk free investment. The big 'if' being the weather and getting the crop off. We weren't banking on 'take all' though, a fungal disease in the soil which does exactly what it says on the tin and basically rots the roots off and kills the plant.
We first noticed in a few small patches about a month ago as the crop came into ear but these have now spread and i reckon we have now lost 15% of the planted area to the fungus.
When you look up the disease it seems to be problem identified mainly for intensive cereal farms with back to back winter cereals. So we are a bit miffed to have it here, but having spoken to a few local farmers apparently they've lost whole crops to 'take all' and hence why they don't bother with cereals anymore. So that maybe the end of our winter cereal ambitions which were part of the diversification plan for the farm here. But I was wondering whether anyone has come across this before and has any solutions in terms of prevention and practices that might reduce the fungus in the soil?