A breakout is the starting point for a weed, disease or pest infestation and can occur in crops in a range of ways. The most common is an infestation of weeds but it can also be where disease or pests enter the field.
The most common breakout you’ll see in a crop in the headland where weeds enter the paddock from the fence line. This is particularly true of grass weeds like ryegrass and black oats that tend to favour the fence line. Therefore it is essential that you control weeds on fences. However it should also be noted that if you are constantly spraying the fence line with the same chemistry it can be source of herbicide resistance and a entry point to the rest of the field.
Weeds can also breakout in areas where a spray has been missed, a section of crop hasn’t been planted or in water ways. If you see weeds starting to appear in these areas they need to be controlled to prevent them setting seed.
Another example of a breakout is this year we had heap of aphids in faba beans. The aphids themselves weren’t at a level where they were doing economic damage but because they were weakening the host plant the plants were easily infected with a fungal disease called chocolate spot. These plants were then perfectly set up to be a source of infection for the rest of the crop and that is why we sprayed the aphids.
Breakouts can take many forms so it is important to stay on top of things in the paddock so if you see a potential problem you can control it. For more check out the podcast on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.