We had probably the best March we could have hoped forin drilling terms, with all crops being sown into reasonableseed-beds. Rain, or should I say lack of it, is becoming a bit of aworry, and strong winds on 27 and 28 March have caused some croploss and damage.

Winter barleys still show signs of stress and would certainlywelcome warm rain. Dry weather slowed down disease, but net blotchand rhynchosporium are still evident.

T1 sprays are about to be applied with aprothioconazole/strobilurin mix. There are times when you wonder indisbelief who thinks up the names for these various products. Butit’s pleasing to see one named after a well-known Latin Americandance that lives up to its name as it spins between distributor,grower and manufacturer.

Winter wheats on the whole look promising, the notableexceptions being late-October/early-November drillings. Theappalling conditions in the autumn led to few crops receiving anautumn herbicide. This has led to a botanist’s dream, as everyarable weed is present and I keep telling myself that fumitory andivy-leaved speedwell are not competitive.

T1 sprays will be applied after Easter based on a wide range ofmixtures depending on risk, crop potential and tank mix.

Autumn-sown beans have wintered well, although I will not bevolunteering to combine them on the ploughed fields.

Winter rape remains my main concern, with trips on to the Woldscausing me great pain as I view field upon field of beautiful rape.I think a serious review is required this year of where, when andhow we crop it.