A lack of rainfall is continuing to cause problems, especially for later drilled and second wheats. Earlier drilled cereals have generally established well and are at early tillering stages. Dry seed-beds have resulted in variable performance from residual herbicides and in some places SU grassweed herbicide treatments have already been made. 

If conditions remain relatively mild there may yet be more Atlantis/Horus/GF-2070 applied this autumn. In some cases a non-SU ‘holding’ treatment is being used to increase control of emerging grass weeds with a view to tidying up in the spring with SU chemistry.

There are a lot of patchy wheat crops about and I suspect some that will never produce a fully established crop. Likewise weed emergence is also patchy making herbicide decisions difficult. In these situations it has been a case of protecting the emerged crop against aphids – if they have not been treated with Deter – and applying some manganese. Where volunteer beans have come through, these have also been dealt with.  

Earlier drilled winter barley crops are incredibly lush and well-tillered. The priority has been to protect them against barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV). Apply some manganese and control the very high levels of mildew and net blotch.

Slugs have been at very low levels generally. In some of the later drilled fields where seed-beds are cloddy, hollowed grains and grazed leaves can be found. Oilseed rape crops have grown rapidly and are still going. Some of the later drilled crops are thin due to poor germination in dry seed-beds but most have a sufficient plant population. 

With phoma being encouraged by the limited amount of rain we have had most crops have now received or are due a fungicide. Where blackgrass needs treating it is too early for propyzamide as soils are too warm and dry. If a holding treatment is required a slightly reduced rate of carbetamide can be useful at this stage allowing a follow up treatment of propyzamide once soil conditions are suitable. 

Where there isn’t the urgency to treat blackgrass yet the mixture of carbetamide and propyzamide has proven very useful, but this will only be applied once soil temperatures and soil moisture deficit have dropped.

Many crops are showing signs of nutrient deficiency mainly due to lack of soil moisture and rapid growth. Where appropriate foliar nutrients are being applied to overcome these deficiencies and ensure crops are as winter hardy as possible.