The last month has seen very littlespraying done.  Cereals seedbedshave generally been unsuitable for pre emergence herbicide.  There are still significant levels ofslug damage on many fields as the cereals emerge and we need to be sure we havea crop before herbicides are applied. 

On challenging land cereal crops still needchecking every 2 days for slugs. High populations of slugs, combined withconstant moisture is making control very challenging especially on late drilledwheat following OSR.

With limited spraying days now likely wemust make the best use of the time available.  I am encouraging immediate propyzamide and carbetamideapplications on OSR crops (that have at least 4 true leaves), along with afungicide and insecticide.  I feelthe blackgrass is more likely to be killed if it is sprayed pre tillering. Thisseason I do not have any OSR crops that require a PGR fungicide, so this limitsthe fungicide choice.  The rootingbenefits of a flusilazole based product makes for an obvious choice. I am usinga higher dose than last year, with the crops being smaller than normal, thepotential yield penalty from  phomais very high.

Cereal herbicides applied post emergence, are still going to be based on flufenacet, with residual stacking still being the backbone of all my programs.  At the present moment in time it is difficult to see an Atlantis/Hatra application window, but should we be lucky enough for that to happen we must be opportunistic.  I find DFF, flufenacet and atlantis mixures useful when timings have been compromised.

The results of my blackgrass seed samples I sent to Dr. Sarah Cook at ADAS for dormancy testing have proved to be very accurate.  We must recognise, support and appreciate all research into blackgrass.  We need answers!

On the rare occasions that the sun has been out this week I have found aphids in cereal crops.  If the seed has not been Deter dressed we need a high quality insecticide applying at the earliest opportunity.  If the seed has been Deter dressed there is still a need for an insecticide application 6-8 weeks post drilling

There is a lot of talk about winter beans at present, experience has taught me that these need sowing in reasonable conditions, so beware those who plan to plough them into water logged fields, and talk to your agronomist first!