Wheat crops are generally looking very good and forward crops have ears beginning to appear. Many crops are shorter than normal but the recent cooler wet weather will add growth to the canopy.

Disease levels are low due to the cool spring and relatively short interval between T1 and T2. My options for T3 in responsive situations will be based around prothioconazole and chlorothalonil either as Proline + Amistar Opti or Firefly + Chlorothalonil. Remember new label Bravo is limited to two applications and total chlorothalonil must not exceed 2000g/ha.

Winter barley especially six row varieties are vigorous and up to normal canopy size. The Bontima treated crops are extremely clean and it will be interesting to see how they perform at harvest.

During April many of the late sown oilseed rape crops sat still and hardly moved. Good growing conditions after the early part of May has transformed those crops and finally they look as though a margin will be possible. The East Lothian Arable Monitor Farm Project comes to a close this year with an Open Evening on June 17th. It is open to all with one very interesting technique tested being the oilseed rape established behind a subsoiler – contact SAC for details of the event.

Spring barley is rather variable due either to very heavy rain and snow soon after drilling or simply late drilling after the weather improved in early April. Earlier crops will soon have awns appearing when the T2 fungicide should be applied (GS 47-49). Tracker, Fandango or Bontima are the best options with added chlorothalonil to help maintain green leaf and improve control ramularia and abiotic leaf spotting.

This time of year is when all the ugly grass weeds begin to appear in winter cereals. Obviously it’s too late for chemical control this season but small infestations shouldn’t go unnoticed and areas should be mapped for treatment in the next most suitable crop. We now have several good grass weed killers in the armoury which can deal with bromes and rye grass problems. Blackgrass is a limited problem in this area so let us keep it that way.