Recent rains and snowfall continue to keep land looking very saturated.

A precious few millimetres of rain last week has helped freshencrops and wash in some long-standing nitrogen.

Crop growth stages are 7-10 days later than usual. Leaf three isjust beginning to emerge on the earliest winter wheats as attentionturns to T1 product choice. Mixes will largely be based onchlorothalonil with either epoxiconazole or prothioconazole.

Septoria tritici pressure remains relatively low with eyespotyet to make much of an appearance. Mildew is likely to requirespecific control at T1 on susceptible varieties, as well as on latedrilled crops where there is a lot of soft growth.

Be on the lookout for late flushes of annual broadleaved weedssuch as cleavers, charlock and polygonums, as the recent rains andopen crops are encouraging factors. If herbicide is required it canoften be mixed with the T1 fungicide.

Winter barleys have greatly improved in the past month and haverecently received their T1 fungicide.

Spring barley has emerged well and with such a large increase inarea the maltsters must be rubbing their hands at being able tohave such a potentially large crop to pick from. Meanwhile, somegrowers are scratching their heads trying to remember how to growit, as “dad last grew it 15 years ago”. This, along with springrapeseed getting short, shows just how wet it was last autumn.

Winter oilseed rape is just beginning to flower in the earliestcrops, while at the other extreme plants are shin high. Keepchecking these late crops for pollen beetle at the green bud stageas thresholds levels have been exceeded in some cases, requiring apyrethroid insecticide for control.

As spring rape emerges flea beetle can cause serious damage, sobe vigilant for the shot-holing symptoms and treat if required.