I cannot remember the last time I heard the phrase “I’ve never been so far ahead” from many clients. Apart from a few crops still to be sprayed, most are in, up well and sprayed. I am struck by the evenness of emergence in the majority of my area. There a few later drilled ones that are still emerging in patches, but in a lot of cases they are – dare I say this? – moving a little too quickly. Another warm weekend will only make them more lush.

This obviously calls into question large tank mixes that some want to do and care should be taken. Choice of formulation will be important in tank mix partners. Blackgrass is now pouring through and in some of the earlier sprayed crops we are looking to have another go at rapidly emerging blackgrass. The dryness following some of the pre-emergence herbicides was disappointing, but with the open autumn and low dormancy one can hope an autumn follow up will be it.

Aphid numbers are building, but low. However, using T sum criteria, non-dressed crops should in theory be being sprayed, difficult though it is to find any. Memories of two years ago loom large!

Slug issues are presently nowhere near as bad as we all thought they may be, although there is no room for complacency as recently ploughed fields have shown up a lot of slug eggs.

Oilseed rape is anything from knee high to still having a few bare areas, but these are filling in. Phoma predictions show that the 10% threshold should have been reached in our area, but am not finding very much at all. However, the need to try and slow some of the growth means that fungicides with plant growth regulation activity are being applied. The threat of turnip yellows virus (TuYV) I am told is very low, as the peach potato aphid numbers are low, though with the mild weather we are experiencing nothing is guaranteed.

Sugar beet yields, despite earlier problems are pleasingly good so far, with dirt tares of 0% in some deliveries!

There are several crops that were established by the non-inversion method that are showing damage from the previous crop’s herbicides. This is something I have been banging on about since June. The picture shows overlaps and boom problems where Kerb (propyzamide) was applied in last years rape. The label’s warnings are not there for nothing, rare though these events may be.