Delayed T1 fungicides due to the wet April have brought about the epidemic of Septoria Tritici that we feared it would. 

The scenario in the southwest is quite simple. T0 + T1 on time has delivered clean crops. T0 + delayed T1 and Septoria is in the crop and infecting a significant percentage of leaf 3. No T0 + T1 on time has by and large kept leaf 2 and 3 clean, but below this there is significant infection in the crop. 

No T0 + delayed T1 is where the real disaster has occurred with leaf 3 severely infected and upto 30% of leaf 2 lost already. This will surely result in significant yield and quality loss. T2 applications have been made on time and intervals kept tight where the T1 was delayed. 

Most crops that I advise on have recieved a mix of Fluxapyroxad (Imtrex) and triazole at T2. Thankfully I have very few growers who are in the no T0 and delayed T1 predicament and the crops still have plenty of potential.

The winter barley crop had recieved its T1 application prior to the deluge and it dried up just in time for a reasonably well timed T2 of triazole and strob. As a result the barley crop is in many cases looking outstanding. 

BYDV has been a major issue as the season has progressed. The best control of this damaging disease has without doubt been the use of Deter as a seed treatment. The infection of the crops in this part of the world would appear to have happened very early on, as the application of pyrethroid aphicides in the autumn have in many cases failed to deliver much in the way of control, suggesting that the infection had taken place prior to the application of the insecticide.

The cool and wet April has caused the rape to have an extremely long flowering period. Some crops started to flower in the last few days of March and have only come to the end of flowering in the last few days of May. It will be interesting to see if there is a delay in the maturity of the crop as a result of this.

 There would appear to be the potential for some very heavy rape crops this year, but the crop is always capable of this deception and the jury will remain out until the combines start to roll.

The winter linseed crop has been extremely interesting to watch this season. It came out of the winter extremely over-developed and despite reduced and delayed nitrogen applications was hammered down to the ground on numerous occasions throughout April. Despite this every time the sun poked through the crop would struggle manfully to come upright again. 

Now that the crop is in full flower and the sun has been shining for quite a while it is almost as if the crop had never lodged at all. Quite remarkable powers of recovery. Let’s hope that it goes on to yield as well as it looks.

At the time of writing the drilling of the forage and grain maize crop is coming to an end. The early drilled crops have struggled with the wet and cold April and a significant number have had to be re-drilled. Those that have not been re-drilled are sitting in tight seedbeds and have suffered alot of stress and are now rapidly being over taken by crops drilled 4 to 5 weeks later. 

The May drilled crops are flying out of the ground and reaching 3 to 4 leaves within a fortnight of planting. Weed control in some of the early drilled crops could prove to be quite challenging for whilst the maize has not grown well the weed certainly has. As a consequence there are some fairly difficult weed situations to deal with.

As ever after a wet spell the ground has dried quickly and we now find ourselves needing rain again in order to get the best out of the spring crops. At the time of writing just prior to the Jubilee weekend there is rain in the forcast so, hopefully, we will be OK.