What a difference a month makes, at last temperatures are in double figures.

All my sugar beet is drilled and most crops are now emerging. Most growers have applied at least 50% of the nitrogen. Above half of my crops received a pre-emergence herbicide application of chloridazon and the demands on the sprayers after a week of high winds may mean we could be a while before we get back to the beet crops with a post-emergence herbicide application.

Potato planting is well under way. Soil conditions are making the de-stoners work hard this year.  

Winter wheat management is going to be challenging this year. Many T0 fungicides have been applied where necessary and most Atlantis (iodosulfuron + mesosulfuron) applications have been applied, or are planned for the next few days. Attention will then turn to T1 fungicide applications. There is a vast variation of yield potential between wheat crops and the fungicide program will have to be appropriate for each crop.  

If the rainfall levels remains low the better septoria protectant SDHI products can be used, mixed with chlorothalonil where the products are compatible. If we head into a spell of inclement weather we will need the best SDHI septoria curative products.  Varieties with specific disease problems such as rust will have to have the appropriate rust active chemistry.

Thin crops that have a low yield potential and lower disease pressure may be treated with a traditional septoria active triazole program. Rates of these products will be high to reflect the shift in sensitivity of septoria to this chemistry. Second wheat crops will be receiving either a prothioconazole or boscalid based product.

Winter Barley crops are mostly at or nearing growth stage 30. T1 fungicides will be applied within the next few days. I am applying trinexapac-ethyl or kind formulations of chlormequat to most crops to strengthen the stems, but at the same time I am mindful that some growers require the straw.

I am expecting a late flush of weeds in thinner cereal crops, close monitoring will be required.

I will not dwell on OSR, other than to say watch out for pollen beetles. At the time of writing I had not found any, but as OSR has been through the perfect storm nothing will surprise me.

Spring pulses often suffer from pea and bean weevil damage so regular monitoring of the crops is vital to enable the responsible use of insecticides.