The feature that has dominated the past two weeks is the drying up of the rain and the strong north westerly winds. This has meant that the massive rush in growth I anticipated in my last Crop Watch has not actually happened and my fear is that they are not going to be able to take up their main dose of nitrogen that has gone on over the last fortnight.

With no rain forecast for the next week at least my worry is that it might start to have an effect on yield.With that in mind, and coupled with the fact that there is very little disease about, I am looking seriously at input costs at the moment. None of my crops have had a traditional T0 fungicide and will end up with a slightly early T1 using traditional fungicide rates and a single dose of chlormequat based growth regulator.

If the weather does change and it looks like the crops may go crazy I will come back in later with an ethephon based product, probably Terpal. At least that gives me the chance to leave my options open.Most spring spraying of grassweeds has now been wrapped up but has not been on long enough to see the effect. I’m expecting some dodgy results in places given the fact that night time temperatures have been low and it’s only been pleasantly warm during the day on a couple of occasions so far.

Most spring drilling is now complete with the exception of maize and millet. No lupins this year which is a shame because I actually quite like the crop but I just can’t get them to yield. Pea and bean weevil activity is high on emerging crops and most are being sprayed as soon as damage is seen. A seed treatment to prevent this panic would be a godsend; I’m still sceptical about the reasons why we don’t have one.