Rainfall during late April has provided a welcome boost to both winter and spring crops. T1 fungicides have/are being applied to wheat depending on the timing of leaf three emergence. Septoria tritici levels are high in the base of crops so there is plenty of inoculum present. Eyespot is also common on susceptible varieties such as Oakley, so T1 fungicide choices have included control of this disease where required. Thankfully the weather has allowed most T1 fungicides to be applied at the correct time.
Crops of winter barley appear to have suffered a similar fate to last year by being stressed for long periods in the spring due to lack of rainfall and some cold weather. Only the crops on more fertile sites are requiring any further growth regulation as the cool spring has provided its own form of natural growth regulation. T2 fungicide timing is fast approaching as awns begin to emerge. The T1 fungicides appear to have worked well, despite some high rhynchosporium pressure, so the T2 fungicide should act as a top-up to see the crop through to harvest.
Oilseed rape crops are currently beginning to flower with the debate as to how best to time the sclerotinia fungicide application. Improved disease forecasting models are helping to provide better guidance as to the best time to spray, but an element of luck also seems to be required. Crops generally look well with even the more backward pigeon grazed crops looking more respectable.
Spring barleys have suffered with the dry weather but have improved a lot since the rains. T1 fungicides will shortly be due but at least disease levels are currently low. Red wheat crops have their long leafy look about them and will soon begin to fly through their growth stages.
Winter beans are beginning to flower so fungicide applications are required particularly to prevent chocolate spot levels progressing further up the crop. This disease is at much higher levels than in recent years so a well timed fungicide has to be a priority. Pea and bean weevils have been causing plenty of u-shaped notches to emerging spring beans so an insecticide has been required in the majority of cases.