The severe winds of last week have left many crops battered and extremely dewaxed. Cereal crops sprayed soon after are showing signs of scorch.
On the whole, most oilseed rape crops had finished pollination so the premature removal of the last of the petals should not have too great an impact on yield. Any aphids daft enough to take flight will now be swimming in the North Sea. However, if the weather settles down and temperatures increase, be vigilant in checking for these pests.
Unsuitable spraying conditions have meant that some spray intervals may have been compressed, however, it is important that growers aim to keep up with their fungicide plans as there are many crops in this area with good yield potential that needs to be protected.
Disease levels in winter barleys have remained low and crops are now past the stage for further treatment. On the other hand, mildew can now be found at the base of winter wheat crops. A mildewicide included in the flag leaf spray should protect the upper, yield producing upper leaves.
Apart from a few field trials, I shall not be recommending SDHI chemistry as I expect to go with a triazole/strobiluron/chlorothalonil mix at this timing as other disease levels remain low.
As with other cereals, disease levels in spring barley remain low. Malting barley prices are extremely promising, so a robust spend will be fully justified. There are plenty tried and trusted products available to ensure that these crops fulfil their yield potential.
Potato crops are moving on apace. The rain came in time to allow residual herbicides to work effectively. Growers should now be planning their blight programme around the products that have performed strongly in the Eurofins trials, bearing in mind the presence of more active strains of the fungus.
Finally, do not neglect foliar nutrition to help achieve optimum yield and quality.