Spraying opportunities in the last few weeks have been restricted to the occasional day in between wet and windy conditions. In general the early residuals in cereals have been applied and have worked well, but there is still a certain amount of post-emergence spraying that hasn’t been completed. 

Conditions now are getting borderline for Atlantis treatments with frosts occurring and soil temperatures dropping into single figures. However, these conditions are suitable for carbetamide/propyzamide applications in rape which in many cases are the priority for the sprayer. 

There will also be some broad-leaved weed spraying in oilseed rape chasing the likes of charlock. Bifenox applications are planned once rape crops have re-waxed after carbetamide/propyzamide treatments and will hopefully coincide with some frosty weather.

Reports of high wheat bulb fly egg numbers – especially on the East Anglian sampling sites – mean that egg hatch sprays after Christmas may be more widely required.  Any later drilled wheat after roots will need to be treated with tefluthrin seed treatment.

Last year, cases of wheat bulb fly after sugar beet seemed to be higher than normal although deadhearts tended to appear later due to cold conditions delaying egg hatch. We will have to be particularly observant early in 2011 in the higher risk situations. 

As this is my last Crop Watch contribution until February 2011, may I take this opportunity to wish everyone a merry Christmas and prosperous New Year.