Well we’ve had the mildest, the driest, the wettest and the
hottest growing season so far and there are still a couple of months to go.
It’s amazing these crops have survived at all really, but survive they have and
at the moment they don’t look too bad for it. Planned fungicide strategies have
had to go out the window, with applications being stretched, doubled up and
added to. 

As I write (eight days before going to press) wheat ears are emerging
nicely and many planned T2 fungicide applications have been added to and will
end up being a T2/T3 combined. All we need now is the coldest June ever just to
complete the weather variety and leave us in total confusion.

Disease control ranges from spectacular to disastrous,
depending on how robust the early doses were, how late they were applied and
how long the gaps have been between applications. This will be an ideal year to
see just how useful all the wonderful new chemistry actually is. I know some
circumstances where the money spent on a single application has nearly matched
my last year’s total fungicide cost (nt on any of my farms, I hasten to
add….!).

Winter barley has been put to bed and generally speaking looks fantastic. Poor performance of last autumn’s applications of Atlantis is making some winter wheat crops look a little tatty.

This is definitely a season where spring applications have been much more successful, but I’m certainly not looking to a wholesale move to spring use. If the grassweeds escape the residuals in the autumn they need to be treated.

Spring crops have responded to the warm weather and ironically some now look as if they need a drop of rain. I wonder how they would cope with six inches of snow…….?