We have a considerable array of crop protection materials at our disposal, but the past few weeks have reminded us that our crops cannot do without the original active ingredient – H2O.
The rain in the last couple of days has come just in time and no doubt crops, especially spring sown will soon perk up.
Until now, this has not appeared to be a season where sclerotinia might be a problem, but the recent rains may change that, particularly with winter oilseed rape crops about to reach early petal fall.
Previous history will be a factor to consider and, in many cases, a two-spray strategy will be embarked on. A robust initial spray of boscalid plus a strobilurin will provide a sound platform. The final top-up of nitrogen will also have to be applied.
In Winter Barley crops, the recent rain will increase levels of rhyncosporium and ramularia, and leaf spot may also become an issue.
A robust triazole/strobilurin/chlorothalonil mix should maintain green leaf area and protect yield potential.
As with rhyncosporium in winter barley, septoria in winter wheat may start to become a threat. Again, a robust mix of the aforementioned active ingredients should provide ample protection.
Spring barley crops are, in general, starting to tiller and most problems have been moisture-related. Strong growth is now anticipated, but mildew will be the initial concern given the large area of Optic still being grown for the malting trade.
Cyflamid is a good dual option with protectant and eradicant activity. Rhyncosporium can be dealt with at the next spray timing.
Potatoes have gone in to some superb seed-beds. With moisture and heat the sprouts will be moving on. Be vigilant in checking crops frequently to ensure that pre-emergence products such as Metribuzin and Linuron are applied before the sprouts emerge.