As I write clouds are gathering, but cynicism does not get my hopes up about rain.

 We did have a welcome few hours on Monday, which left between 5-12mm depending on where you were.

This has softened soils but the wind and sun has dried a lot of this up.

Decisions on patchy rape crops are to be left until next weekend to see if the rain has triggered germination of the seeds that were planted into dust.

A lot more leaf miner damage has been seen but I have found pupae so hopefully the worst is over for this year.

The perils of late-applied Atlantis this year on minimum tilled rapehave appeared on one crop of rape I’ve seen, which is more noticeableas the other half of the field was not treated.

This I hope will grow out of it. Other rapes that have got away are looking very well with no phoma at the moment.

Rothamsted’s forecasting tool shows it should show up imminently in some areas, so vigilance will be necessary.

A few crops have reached the stage where a plant growth regulator isbeing used to slow them down and a few aphids have been noticed onvolunteer cereals.

These need to be monitored as they could be Turnip Yellow’s vectors.Blackgrass is appearing in many fields but those with resistance issuesshould not be tempted to use Kerb/Carbetamex yet as soil temperaturesare far too high.

Cereal drilling has now started up again after a lull where people haddone as many fields as they could before all the steel wore out! Earlycrops are coming through but are quite patchy.

Winter barley fields with blackgrass have had a robust pre-emergancetreatment applied as the options post-emergence are very limited. Manywheat fields will now receive a peri-emergence or early post-emergencetreatment, particularly if we get the rain this weekend.