Soil temperatures are barely making 10C, so growth is still very slow. But crops are going through growth stages, albeit about 10 days behind a “normal” season.

Despite this, we have completed most T0 applications on wheat, as planned. I am pleased that we have because in untreated areas small stripes of yellow rust can be found on Robigus and Oakley. I have not found any on other varieties but  I’m a firm believer that prevention is better than cure.

We are now in process of putting main dose of nitrogen at wheat and probaly saving 30-40% for the final dose in early May. The T1 timing is still about 10-14 days away and depending on what has been done at T0, decisions will be made accordingly. Any applications of Broadway Star or Atlantis should now be completed for grassweed tidy up and we will all wait with baited breath to see if the soil temperature has allowed us to get the best out of these products.

Spring barley is a very mixed bag depending on drilling date and rainfall. Some have emerged nicely without any problems, but because there was heavy rainfall after drilling, some are struggling to get through the hard cap that has fornmed.  Thumbnail image for P3020003.JPGVarious solutions are being banded around such as rolling, and even a light harrow has been considered. But the problem is some of crop is emerged and could risk damaging that. It pains me to say it but a good shower of warm rain hopefully would help soften the cap.

Hopefully a shower of rain will move the crop on allowing it to pick up fertiliser and bring in the flush of weeds. We can then treat these and give the crop a manganese boost which i think it will require. Disease control will be based on variety and local risk looking as always to prevent any disease comprimising this crop.

Winter barley is now at the Growth Stage 31 T1 tiiming and some patches of rhynchosporioum have been noted – this should be controlled at T1 and any growth regulators should be included. Tthese are largely based on Moddus and chlormequat, but we are having a look at some Canopy this season to see how it performs. Hopefully, we are looking to avoid any need for follow up plant growth regulator.

Oilseed rape is the crop which has really jumped and in some cases flowers are starting to appear (just hope the frost doesn’t nip them). We did see a high level of pollen beetle some days last week and some were above threshold. A pyrethroid should only be apllied in struggling backward crops as we don’t want to take everything out.

I can again see this next period being a very hectic one and growers would be well advised to plan properly and ensure products are on farm so ideal timing can be hit to get the best result.