Wheat bulb fly is still causing concern. Crops that received chlorpyrifos three weeks ago are showing some deadheart symptoms, with a few crops needing a dimethoate treatment. It shows the forecasting systems worked very well – we were warned.
This year we seem to have a particularly wide spread of growth stages for the second week of March, with a large number of crops at GS12 and some as advanced as GS30. The later- drilled wheats will be receiving a low dose of Tempo (trinexapac-ethyl) to aid rooting, and encourage tillering along with an appropriate micronutrient.
Most growers have applied some nitrogen during the last few days, with the less robust crops being prioritised. At last we have had some spring Atlantis (iodosulfuron + mesosulfuron) applied and in hindsight the application was timely. We do need this product to go on to small blackgrass plants. I see a few lawns have been mown this weekend so the grass must be growing.
Wheat T0 applications are approaching and these are likely to be based around a triazole and chlorothalonil mix with the variety Oakley receiving the treatments first. Levels of Septoria tritici are surprisingly high. Downy mildew is also alive and has been found on some forward wheats on sandy soils, so a specific mildewicide may be added to the T0 mix. Or, if the disease is checked by the weather a mildew-suppressing triazole may suffice.
The harsh winter has created some fantastic frost moulds so spring cropping seed-beds should be good. However, in the last few days we have seen a large flush of freshly germinated weeds in cereals, particularly knotgrass and spring wild oats. These will be dealt with by appropriate herbicides as conditions warm.