As has been reported for the last few months there is no real movement forward in crop growth and still cold is forecast. The good news is that we have had dry conditions for the last seven days. The surface is drying out with the easterly winds and travelling is beginning to be a bit easier. This means that next week a lot more fertiliser applications will be done on all crops.

However, the big concern are the soil temperatures, which are unseasonably low and are preventing the use of the big grass weed herbicides that really do need to go on. The trouble looming is the number of jobs that are going to be needed to be done at once. Tank mixes are my concern, with untested multi-tank mixes being applied to crops that are weakened by the current conditions. Always take advice in these matters.

There are some early drilled crops in this area that are approaching a stage where a T0 spray, along with a value added plant growth regulator can be done and if the weather allows I am looking to get this done next week. The later drilled crops behind sugar beet and late lifted potatoes, though through the ground, are giving cause for concern on the heavier soils. Indeed two crops have been written off already this week.


Oilseed rape crops are either good or awful depending on A: pigeons
or B: crop growth. Many fields have a plant, but these are stumps and
are day-by-day losing viability. If the temperatures suddenly rise and
growth commences the number of branches they will be capable of
producing will be limited and growth could be single weak stalks which
will need careful managing. Pigeons though, are the worst they have been
for a long time and are proving to be impossible to keep off. However,
there are some crops that are now stem extended and untroubled by
pigeons so far!

Sugar beet drilling in this area still not taken off particularly on
the heavier soils as the soil is still wet and cold six inches down and
will require more drying.The few drilled beet fields have, I am told,