Crops have responded well to a much needed drink and wheat drilling has generally caught up. Crops drilled into better seed-beds after the rain are emerging more evenly than the earlier-drilled wheats which can vary from early tillering to just emerging in the same field.

In most cases pre-emergence herbicides have been applied but it remains to be seen how well they work. Where volunteer beans need to be controlled we are waiting for the crop to reach two to three leaves before applying the one remaining mecoprop-based product with autumn use on the label. All other CMPP-based products are no longer registered.

Alternative herbicides for volunteer bean control are limited to low rate clopyralid (comparatively expensive) and the autumn sulfonylureas.

However, sulfonylurea use in the autumn impacts on subsequent applications – particularly where Atlantis or Pacifica are planned. Where seed hasn’t been treated with Deter a foliar insecticide application is planned as aphids are evident in crops. At this rate I can’t see a lot of autumn Atlantis being applied due to the delayed emergence of crops and blackgrass. Slugs have not been particularly evident so far due to the long dry period in August and September but since rainfall they have materialised rapidly in crops following oilseed rape and in patches in some fields with a history of slug problems.

Oilseed rape crops have improved considerably since the rain which hashelped to mineralise nitrogen and encourage growth. Crops thatestablished early have recently received an application of metconazoleto regulate growth and protect against phoma infection. Although phomalesions aren’t widespread there are a few hot spots and wetterconditions will start to encourage disease development.

Most crops that haven’t already been sprayed with fungicide will besprayed in the next couple of weeks. Although soil temperatures arefalling gradually it is still too warm and dry for the application ofpropyzamide and/or carbetamide. Soil temperatures are still in excessof 10C.