Many rape fields are now starting to turn yellow(ish) and with warm weather forecast for the next week, many will get to early flowering very quickly. Where Caryx (mepiquat + metconazole) was used for plant regulation and canopy manipulation, the side branches are noticeably stronger than untreated areas or fields. Pollen beetle numbers have been low so far (I caught three on a pollen beetle trap in 2 weeks) so no crops have been treated. As soon as flowers open they become beneficial so there is no cause for concern if we do find them in crops.

On warm days bees are visibly active now so make sure that you inform local bee keepers before spraying insecticide on any crops, not just ones that are in flower, and avoid spraying when bees are likely to be active.

Wheat and barley crop growth had slowed up in the last couple of weeks as the weather cooled down. They are getting going again now that temperatures have risen. This means that T0 timing for wheat is now a more typical first week of April. The disease pressure hasn’t changed though, rust is very easy to find and on many varieties levels of septoria is high.

At the moment mildew levels seem to be low, with the only places where I’ve found it on sheltered headlands, under trees or on very thick barley crops. Where present I will be adding Fielder (chlorothalonil + proquizanid) in with T0/T1 sprays to make sure that any mildew is stopped in its tracks.

Barley T1 sprays are now getting close. Some mixes may be quite complex this year as some will want a tidy up of broad-leaved weeds as well as PGRs and fungicide. Fungicide for T1 will be centred around Jaunt (fluoxastrobin + prothioconazole + trifloxystrobin) +/- Fielder depending on mildew.

Drilling of spring crops has progressed well, with most barley and beans now in, except for some heavy land areas that needed cultivating to let some air in to help them dry out. With soil temperatures at 7-9 degrees, germination has been quite fast but emergence has been a usual fortnight. The photo below shows the typical growth that we’ve had round here in 10 days.

Barley