What a difference a year can make! For most first and subsequent wheat crops yield potential is excellent, however, the game is not over quite yet! During grain fill moderate temperatures, adequate water, nutrients and good disease control are crucial for maximising yield potential. These factors will determine grain size and weight.

Showery conditions during flowering will have provided good conditions for fusarium, late septoria and yellow rust infection. In some instances late disease pressure will be fuelled by poor fungicide timings earlier in the season, which have resulted in high disease pressure lower in the canopy. This season a robust ear spray should provide a good margin over investment.

In both wheat and pulses keep an eye on aphid colonies that could build quickly if temperatures warm. In peas also check crops for pea moth and pea midge. In pulses if a second fungicide is outstanding an additional aphicide can be added if required.

For milling wheat’s, higher yielding crops are more likely to require a top up of foliar nitrogen to achieve quality specifications, this can be applied until milky ripe.

This is a good time to evaluate the season and plan for the next crops. In particulate map any weed or soil problems and consider autumn herbicide strategies and remedial soil cultivations.

Many of you will be visiting variety demonstrations during the next month and selecting wheat varieties for sowing this autumn. Choose varieties with attributes that closely match your specific requirements. The “perfect variety” does not exist! Know the variety’s risks and if you are chasing yield you must be prepared to accept that high output usually requires a high level of input!