Winter wheats have improved greatly over the past month
and now appear more likely to have potential to produce good
yields.

With T3 fungicides being applied, continued rust pressure has
meant slightly more robust ear-wash treatments have been required
on susceptible varieties, often involving the addition of a
strobilurin such as pyraclostrobin.

Orange blossom midge activity has been generally low, just one
or two hotspots requiring treatment. Aphids are increasingly easy
to find so consider an insecticide to mix with the T3 fungicide if
populations exceed threshold levels.

Spring barleys still look “clumpy” on heavier land and
later-emerging plants from dry seed-beds are still catching up with
early-emerged areas. As awns are emerging, it’s time to consider
the T2 fungicide. Crops are looking fairly clean because T1
fungicides worked well, so the T2 should merely serve to top up
foliar disease control.

Pollen beetle numbers are building in spring oilseed rape and
have regularly exceeded the treatment threshold of three beetles
per plant. If crops are at the susceptible green to yellow bud
stage, then consider an insecticide. Large numbers of pollen
beetles can soon cause damage.

Attention soon begins to focus on next season’s cropping and
variety plans.

Unless it yields very well Oakley is likely to
lose market share due to serious yellow rust this season being
added to its previous disease weaknesses.

No doubt the Cereals event will have given
everyone plenty to think about, with lots of new ideas to
consider.

At least the opening new-season nitrogen prices seem a bit more
palatable, but it will be interesting to see if there will be an
early-season buying backlash after the events of the past 12
months.