Crops are now where you would expect them to be, despite being behind most of the season. Winter barley is fully flowered and ripening, winter wheat ears are out, spring barley has awns appearing and oilseed rape is at full pod emergence. Oilseed rape is looking really well this season due mainly to good establishment.

As crops start to finish there is still low disease pressure and some growers are questioning validity of a final fungicide but the investment has been made in the crop to this stage and every bit of green leaf needs to be retained as long as possible to maximise yield and quality so I think it will still be worthwhile last year was a low disease pressure year and a full fungicide programme still gave reward.

In winter wheat I see the T3 spray as not only for grain quality protection but also a top up of flag leaf fungicide to maintain green leaf area we will therefore be using a prothioconazole or tebuconazole triazole in conjunction with a strobilurin to finish these crops off as Yellow Rust is still at the back of my mind and hopefully this will allow maximum grain fill.

Spring barley is now at the most critical time for fungicide as awns emerge and it is vital that we get the protection on for ramularia ahead of disease and I really encourage growers to apply this as soon as awns emerge even when they have only recently applied the T1 fungicide as ramularia can be devastating in this crop. This Fungicide will be either prothioconazole/strobilurin based or boscalid/epoxiconazole based as we seen some very good results from this mixture last season in terms of yield and quality. In both cases chlorothalonil will be included as this is vital at this timing.

After attending Cereals last week besides the obvious chat on fertiliser prices we had a good look at varieties and specifically wheat varieties which will suit our area and markets Beluga and Invicta stood out as ticking the boxes and will follow these with interest through harvest. It was also interesting to see the new carboxamide chemistry on offer and it will be interesting to see if this delivers as promised as an agronomist it will be good to have some new actives in the armoury and we must learn from past and use these responsibly to avoid them breaking down quickly. As this is last report before harvest I do hope that weather and markets are in our favour as reward for what has been a difficult season