This month must be one of the driest for a long time.We’ve recorded only 9mm of rain so far this April and crops havegenerally responded extremely well.

Dry surface conditions have encouraged cereal roots to deepen.The exception is wheat sown late into poor seed-beds, which hasbeen very slow to improve.

Disease levels are low, although yellow rust has been found inuntreated Robigus.

Forward wheat is about GS31 and ready for the T1 treatment, asmost crops have had no T0.

Conditions so far haven’t favoured eyespot. But, with wetweather forecast, take note of all other factors before dismissingthe threat.

The more backward crops have recently had some chlormequat andchlorothalonil because they are still a while away from T1.

In winter barley only low levels of rhynchosporium and netblotch can be found. T1 has been applied and crops look good.Growth is very fast and will require late growth regulation withthe T2 fungicide. Tracker (boscalid + epoxiconazole)or Fandango (fluoxastrobin and prothioconazole)along with chlorothalonil would be appropriate choices.

Winter oilseed rape is edging into flower. Canopies vary hugelyas a result of soil conditions at drilling time. Where roots arerestricted stems are thin with little branching, which will hammeryield. Check rotational history before trying to save on asclerotinia spray – it’s not a disease you want to bring into yoursoils.

Some late-sown spring barley is suffering from the dryconditions and we’re beginning to see nutrient deficiencies inearly fast-growing crops. A little rain will help in bothcases.