The significant rainfall forecast last week did not happen. Only 5mm arrived and crops are still struggling to pick up recently-applied nitrogen. Where urea was used, I am becoming increasingly concerned that a significant proportion may have volatilised.

Due to the tender nature of crops, we are continuing with applications of trace elements. I have seen manganese and magnesium deficiencies where I have not seen them before, and have treated accordingly.

Over the next few days, barley crops will be receiving a T1 fungicide application as they approach GS30. Most treatments will be prothioconazole/strobilurin-based.  On some of the high potential crops, programmes will be based on the new SDHI chemistry. Product choice will depend on the disease rating of the variety.

We are well into T0 sprays on wheat crops with most of the more forward rust-susceptible varieties treated.  T0 treatments often include trinexapac-ethyl to encourage rooting as well as manganese to correct deficiencies.  

The more forward wheat crops are being treated with an appropriate dose of chlormequat.  There is an interesting array of weeds currently emerging in some wheat fields. These include redshank, docks and thistles, which will be treated in due coarse.  I guess the cold winter has broken dormancy of these weeds.

The lack of rain is causing concern in pulse crops and I am not anticipating great performance from spring bean pre-emergence chemistry.  At present, it is looking likely that a follow up treatment of bentazone will be needed early post- emergence.