Most spring barley drilling is complete and seed drilled 10 daysago is shot and should come through during next week.

All winter wheats and barleys have been treated with 37kg/ha ofnitrogen plus 45kg/ha of SO3, and second wheats have had the samesulphur and 75-80kg/ha of N. Late September and early Octoberdrilled wheats are at GS24.

Oilseed rape crops will soon be at the stem extension stage andhave already been treated with 40kg/ha of nitrogen and 75kg/ha ofSO3. During the next few days the bulk of the planned remaining Nshould be applied to backward crops as there is only about 25kg/hain the soil – only half the amount found last year. Remember thecrop can take up to 3kg/ha of N a day during stem extension.

Well established rape crops can wait for their main dressinguntil the end of March.

Malting winter barleys should get all their N by the end ofMarch to ensure malting quality.

There is little evidence of light leaf spot present in oilseedrape but phoma symptoms can easily found on the old leaves.

Most varieties of wheat have septoria lesions on the oldsenescing leaves, and fresh net blotch lesions are evident onwinter barley varieties Cassata and Pearl.

The dreaded slugs are still doing damage in late-drilled fieldsof wheat, albeit in small patches but will need treating. Rememberthe guidelines for using slug pellets and take all possibleprecautions to avoid these getting into waterways.

With soil temperatures increasing and above 6C it’s time toconsider application of Atlantis (iodosulfuron + mesosulfuron) forblackgrass control in wheat. But take care to avoid spraying duringfrosty weather to avoid crop damage and avoid tank-mixingchlorothalonil.