For the past few weeks everyone has been suggesting miracle cures to combat the drought and relieve stress on crops as they all went funny colours, particularly spring crops.

But eventually the only cure arrived in the name of 30-60mm of rain across most of my area, which has, in general, come just in the nick of time. But with one relief comes another problem in that we have been having strong winds again. As I look out of window trees are bending in wind which is drying some of the much protected moisture from the ground and limiting fertiliser spreading and spraying opportunities.

Winter barley is now mostly in full ear and most crops look full of potential with good ear counts and potential grain sites. Moisture will hopefully allow a decent grain fill. Disease levels are low and most growers have now shut the gate on this crop.

Winter wheat has now changed from a lime green to a racing green colour as nitrogen has been picked up and moved to leaves. I think most wheat crops lost some tillers during the dry spell, but as we know from last season yield can be compensated in the ear.

Unfortunately, for some of the lighter ground wheats the rain has maybe come a bit late and we will have to wait and see what damage has been done. The decision this week as flag leaves start to emerge will be product choice for the flag Leaf fungicide and if there is any need for a plant growth regulator.

Growers in high yield potential sites are still keen to have a look at the new SDHI chemistry which will be applied only to the best crops. The rest will receive a strobilurin/triazole mix as rust is still bubbling away.

Crops with lower yield potential will have flag leaf sprays based on triazole/chlorothalonil. I have noticed mildew is lurking on some of the lighter ground so this may warrant some extra protection with metrafenone or proquinazid. I have had a lot of enquiries regarding Bittersaltz as growers are looking to really green up the flag leaf.

Winter oilseed rape is now mostly all flowered and varietal differences are noticeable. Some went back to green very quickly while others are still in full flower.

Spring Barley crops have been every colour apart from the one they are supposed to be, but they now seem to be bulking up and all have decent plant numbers, but tillering has been limited. We are now trying to move quickly to get weed control completed before growth stage cut-off dates.

I am finding year on year that fumitory is becoming a harder and harder weed to control as it just seems to laugh at CMPP. So I am trying all sorts of combinations to see if I can get on top of it. I’m trying get some disease protection as well as sorting trace elements, so I can see the usual complex tank mixes surfacing.