Majority of winter wheat has reached GS31. The earlier cold spell has helped removed most of the mildew, but with recent wet weather, septoria and rust are now present.

Septoria pressure will be the main focus at T1, although eyespot control will also be part of the programme considering the warm and wet soils at present. It is important to altnerate azoles throughout a programme and where tebuconazole was used at T0, epoxiconazole or prothionconazole will provide the base to the T1 fungicide programme.

SDHI’s will enhance control and when mixed with azoles and chlorothalonil or folpet, give protection and aid resistance management. Strobilurins will also be used depending  on yellow rust pressure. Ceriax (epoxiconazole + fluxapyroxad + pyraclostrobin) is a good septoria eradicant and the inclusion of pyraclostrobin provides good yellow rust management.

Winter barleys have received a second dose of N and final dose if malting. Crops are receiving a T1 fungicide. Brown rust is present in susceptible varieties, but to date is relatively inactive; net blotch and mildew can also be found.

Winter oilseed rape is at early flowering and with soils beginning to reach 10C, sclerotinia will begin germination and a protective fungicide against this disease will be necessary, with a follow up treatment three weeks later.

Pollen beetle this year were not an issue on majority of crops as they began flowering before the pollen beetle pressure arose. Pollen beetle become beneficial pollinators once flowering begins apace. Only backward crops have recently required treatment where pollen beetle populations have escalated within the last week.

Spring crops that have been drilled have benefited from the wet weather and have emerged well. Although with wet weather comes increased the slug pressure and particularly on land following cover cropping, where large populations are present. Spring Barley, spring wheat, spring peas and sugar beet have been treated with pellets and are being carefully monitored.

In sugar beet crops where growers have been fortunate enough to apply pre-emergence residuals have shown good efficacy due to current soil moisture. This will allow the beet to emerge fully and become more tolerant to the current variations in daytime temperature before the first post-emergence herbicide is applied.

Pea bean weevils have been active in pulses and sprays have been applied where necessary to prevent stunting of growth. The majority will grow away from damage, but fields that are close to previous leguminous crops or those that are adjacent to grass margins will be the most prone.

As a result of the warm weather over the winter, aphid migration is predicted to start earlier than normal and are present on emerging spring barley. These will be at risk of barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) up until GS31, so must be treated if found.