The harvest finished about two weeks ago and we have had some amazingly good yields despite a very dry May and June. Milling wheat crops have yielded in excess of 8.60 t/ha and feed wheat has done just the under 10t/ha.

The oilseed rape has also produced some spectacular yields ranging 4.20 to 4.70 t/ha. What seemed to be a moderate harvest back in June has turned out to be a profitable one, especially when coupled with the fairly high commodity prices.

The majority of the oil seed rape crop has been drilled and sprayed pre emergent with Oryx (Metazachlor+Quinmerac) plus adjuvant Grounded. Where cleavers are expected to be a problem Cirrus (Clomazone) has been added at a low doze rate.

Any oilseed rape crop that has not been sprayed so far can still be sprayed post emergence once the majority of the plants have emerged, but ensure that heavy rain is not imminent post spraying since metazachlor based products can notoriously affect the germination of the rape seed if come in contact.

Clomazone may not be sprayed post emergence of the crop.Take advantage of the plenty of showers that we have had recently to kill any volunteers and grass weeds with glyphosate. The black grass dormancy is expected to be low this year and this means up to 50% of the black grass burden can be eliminated by allowing the black grass seed to chit and then spraying with glyphosate.

Delaying drilling can further help in reducing the black grass problem which is particularly serious as there are now even more instances of resistance to Atlantis (Mesosulfuron+Iodosulfuron). Atlantis remains to be a marvellous product for black grass control and every effort must be made to retain the efficacy of this product.

Slugs are already active in oil seed rape and damage can be noticed on the cotyledon leaves. Apply slug pellets taking into account all the precautions which have been publicised in the press, particularly note that a maximum total of 210 grams of Metaldehyde is permitted between August and December and 700 grams in a growing season.

Use layers mash to bait fields where rape was grown last year and also those where the seed beds are likely to be cloddy.