The last couple of weeks improved weather has allowed some drilling of spring barley and beans to be completed as well as picking off a bit of Atlantis/Pacifica (iodosulfuron + mesosulfuron) spraying. 

The autumn residuals have generally worked very well, but tidying up of surviving grassweeds is likely to continue over the next few weeks, assuming conditions remain mild and soil temperatures carry on rising.  

Soils have certainly warmed enough to mineralise nitrogen and the first SMN results indicate that levels are more akin to average in Eastern counties.  Further results are due this week and then we will be able to build a more comprehensive picture of SMN levels. 

Top dressing on oilseed rape started last week and will continue this week before moving onto barley and second wheats.  All first dressings will be nitrogen + sulphur.

Wheat bulb fly deadhearts are easily found now so demand for dimethoate will increase.  Where chlorpyrifos or dimethoate have been used there will be knock-on effects on Atlantis/Pacifica timing. Ensuring appropriate intervals are observed will help to avoid risks of crop effect.

There is a distinct difference between oilseed rape crops that had two autumn fungicide applications and those that only had one treatment.  Phoma is evident in the latter case and another fungicide has already been applied, or is due to be applied, in these situations.  Most oilseed rape crops have survived the winter well and are likely to have a robust fungicide program this spring/summer.

In situations where lodging risk needs managing and canopy manipulation is required the program will start with an early stem extension plant growth regulator fungicide and may be followed by a yellow bud and full flower treatment as well.  Average yield response to a full fungicide program in UAP trials over the last five years has been 1t/ha.  In high lodging situations yield response was 2.2t/ha.