Crop Watch - Farmers Weekly

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Crop Watch

EAST Mark Hemmant, Agrovista (Norfolk)

Final leaf 3 is emerging on forward crops of winter wheat – these will need spraying as soon as conditions allow.

High levels of septoria are present in susceptible varieties that didn”t have a T0. Include chlorothalonil in T1 sprays unless already used at T0.

Active mildew is present in many varieties and eyespot can easily be found in second and early-drilled first wheats, but yellow rust has yet to be reported in Norfolk.

Risk assessments should be made on flowering oilseed rape crops for sclerotinia. Modern rape fungicides allow treatment before traditional timing of early petal fall, reducing wheeling damage.

SOUTH Steve Cook, Hampshire Arable Systems (Hants)

In the south leaf 3 has emerged in most crops; early September drilled Solstice and Einstein have leaf 2 emerging. T1 sprays are urgent, particularly as there have been significant rain splash events in the past three weeks, meaning septoria will be developing.

Use good rates of epoxiconazole to get enough eradicant activity, and add chlorothalonil as routine. Later sown second wheats will not have been so exposed to septoria, so prothioconazole will be sufficient, and will add eyespot control.

Winter oats are running out of soil nitrogen reserves, so will soon need fertilising, although starving them for a bit will help keep them short, in the absence of being able to apply chlormequat.

WEST Tim Horton, Cleanacres (Wilts, Oxon, Glos)

Recent showers have encouraged the spread of septoria on to emerging leaves. In the west leaf 3 is emerging on most crops, so T1 timing is critical to keep septoria at bay.

Applying a pre-T1 has reduced initial disease pressure, and given more timing flexibility, but a good dose of curative activity will be needed in any treatment. Damp conditions have also brought on eyespot, and there is plenty of mildew in susceptible varieties.

Winter barley has reached GS31 and needs a T1 spray, which sets up the potential for the whole crop. Net blotch, particularly in Pearl, and rhynchosporium are the main targets.

NORTH Patrick Stephenson, AICC (N Yorks)

April is a wonderful weather month. If you don”t like what you”ve got, wait an hour and it will change. Wet weather has stopped all land work and we need a dry week to begin again.

Wheat crops are due for T1, and rates may need to be adjusted if spraying is delayed. Worrying levels of mildew in Claire was/will be an extra cost at T1 not accounted for. Robigus is shooting up and after some vertigo problems last year, extra growth regulator may be needed.

Winter barleys that received T1 on time look well, but those awaiting treatment have worrying disease levels.

Crop Watch

Here you‘ll find the latest field reports from a team of agronomists around the country.

Monitor crop developments and keep track of the latest disease and weed pressures – direct from the experts, updated every Tuesday .

We‘ve divided the reports by region, so simply select a link below to find out what‘s happening in your area.

Scotland/North –  East –  South –  West/SW



Crop Watch

EAST Andrew Blazey, TAG Consulting (Essex)

Settled weather in Essex has switched the priority from spring drilling and tidying up blackgrass to cereal growth regulator sprays.

Lodging risk needs to be assessed on September-drilled wheat, which is at GS30 and beyond. Take into account variety, location, field history, residual nitrogen, yield potential and current plant populations.

Mildew levels on susceptible varieties have risen slightly in the mild weather, while septoria remains high on most. To date no yellow rust has been seen, even in Robigus. Assess disease levels and treat where appropriate.

NORTH Allen Scobie, Scottish Agronomy (Aberdeenshire)

Most wheats have picked themselves off the floor after early March frosts and snow. Robigus stands out as being greener and carrying less septoria than older varieties. It also appears less susceptible to manganese deficiency, which might mean we can omit a T0 spray.

 Light leaf spot infection in OSR has been severe this spring in Scotland, but plant breeders are improving resistance. The hybrid Elan was spotless before the spring spray.

WEST Neil Donkin, Countrywide Farmers (Glos)

Oilseed rape has changed dramatically over the past two weeks. Many crops are coming up to green bud, and though disease levels are low, require growth regulation. Watch out for pollen beetle – on one farm this week I found 10 or more in almost every flower head.

Net blotch and rhynchosporium can be found in barley, which will soon be ready for T1 treatments. 10mm of rain last week increased the risk from both diseases. Chlormequat will help tiller development in late-drilled wheats.

SOUTH Chris Bean, UAP (Kent) Having recovered from the late wintry blast, crops are now threatened by drought after receiving only 50% of the average winter rainfall in the region.

Early emerged wheat is at, or close to, leaf 4 emergence with septoria levels high except in Robigus. High risk varieties should be targeted in the next week for treatment.

Barley crops are at GS30, which is beyond the ideal stage for chlormequat. Malting crops are ready for their final top dressing, while feed crops should receive their first main nitrogen application. T1 fungicide sprays should be applied in the next week – mildew appears to have been cleaned up by the frost, leaving rhyncho and net blotch to control.

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