Oilseed rape crops have established well with very few problems from slugs. Leaf miner damage has been much higher than other years, but it looks much worse than its effect on the crop. Phoma is appearing in crops now but none are anywhere near the one in ten plant infected threshold.
Therefore, fungicides are likely to be needed towards the end of the month or in early November. With graminicides providing some indifferent control of blackgrass there is going to be more pressure on residual herbicides such a propyzamide or carbetamide. These need to be applied when soil temperatures are under ten degrees centigrade which is likely to be later this month.After two weeks of unsettled weather drilling has started again. Some heavier soils are proving difficult to knock down into a good seed-bed, so although there has been low slug damage so far, be on the lookout for damage in these areas.
Pre-emergence herbicides applied to earlier-drilled crops appear to be working really well. Unfortunately for many cereal crops the weather turned wet before all the pre-emergence herbicides could be applied, so some have gone on at the peri-emergence timing instead.
Manganese will be required now on earlier-drilled cereal crops on deficient sites. This can often be tank mixed with a pyrethroid insecticide for aphid control. There are numerous herbicide options to consider for meadowgrass and broadleaved weed control in wheat and barley.
There is the old favourite diflufenican + chlorotoluron mix on approved varieties, but a vast array of other choices are available and are being matched to the weed spectrum.
When drilling winter beans it always essential to check the thousand grain weight as often there are huge variations which can make a big difference to plant population numbers. Aim to establish around 20-25 plants/sq m. Thicker crops may look pleasing to the eye for most of the season but will end up more disease prone and falling over. A pre-emergence herbicide is important for broadleaved weed control as there are so few options available once the crop has emerged.