We seem to be in a weather pattern of one inch of rain a week at present. This is creating quite a back log of chemical applications. The priority has to be to get all cereal crops treated with an insecticide if the seed was not Deter (clothianidin) treated or if the Deter treated crops have been emerged for six or more weeks.

On my heavier soil types I am adding to my residual stack while applying the insecticide. It is pleasing to see that the residual chemicals applied to later drilled cereals are doing a good job. As I have said before the blackgrass control is all about numbers. If a residual stack does a good job (90% control), if we start with 800 blackgrass plants/sq m we may still have a problem.

I have a large area of winter cereals still to be drilled and this is mostly on bad blackgrass land. My preference is still an undrilled field full of resistant blackgrass over an early September drilled field full of resistant blackgrass. Several of my clients proved to me last week that cereals can still be drilled well on strong land in November given a narrow weather window, so let’s pray for another window soon!

This year, as every year, I have lined up a number of fields of winter wheat with an autumn Atlantis (iodosulfuron + mesosulfuron) application. I suspect very few applications will happen because of the very limited time available to apply this product. If the opportunity does arise, a residual partner will be added.
Cereals on lighter soils are being treated with a trace element package to prevent the likelihood of manganese deficiency.

Propyzamide and carbetamide applications have begun. The soil temperature is above average for the time of year, but falling fast.  Most grass weeds are still relativity small and there is enough moisture near the soil surface to activate these products. I feel if we delay applications until the soil temperature is ideal, the grass weeds will be too deep rooted to kill. Disease pressure is surprisingly low this year, with many crops only just reaching the threshold for phoma, so a fungicide is also being applied. For many the oilseed rape applications may not happen for a while because the sprayers are busy on other jobs.

Winter bean plantings have started. Most winter bean herbicide programs will be based around Centium (clomazone), with pendimethalin and propyzamide also being widely used. As with all crops the quality of the seed-bed is going to affect how these residual herbicides preform, so attention to detail is vital.