The difficulties continue, but we are getting towards the end of this exasperating season, I hope.

Early drilled cereals have now reached flag leaf and the majority in this area have had their T1 sprays on for a good  two to three weeks, so in terms of crop growth stages are now back in synch. However, there are still many that are only just approaching a T1 spray, which begs the question  – how much further behind at harvest will they be compared to the early ones?

Disease levels are still low, but there must not be complacency, as septoria is at the base of crops. Night temperatures have slowed down disease activity and coupled with not much rain the fungicides applied have, at the moment, held any problems.

There are quite a lot of late flushes of broadleaved weeds that will need sorting at flag leaf, though where the iodosulfuron + mesosulfuron and pyroxulam-based products were applied, the weed control has been very good.

Winter barley crops are nearly all at full ear emergence, which is the time I like to apply the second fungicide in order to cover the awns as well as the ear, which are contributing to the final yield in a bigger way than most think. As with wheat, disease levels are low and in hand.

Spring barley in general looks good and weed control finished and working well. Mildew is the one disease that can be easily seen, but as most are approaching GS 30-31 a fungicide will be applied very soon.

Sugar beet crops are frustrating in that the lack of warm nights has prevented any rapid growth, with most now reaching 4-6 leaves when they ought to be much further forward than that. Weeds flushes continue, with oilseed rape volunteers still appearing.

The weed control is quite reasonable at the moment, though some knotgrasses are worrying, particularly as planned treatments continue to be delayed by the incessant wind. Last weeks high winds and hail also have had an effect on some beet and further delays to chemical treatments are inevitable. However plants stands in my area are very good and all we need are a few more warm nights!!