Rain over the past three weeks totalling nearly 75mm and another 45mm in May has saved the day for most crops. Winter wheat at GS80 is now looking fairly good.

Both winter and spring barley will benefit from the rain – winter barley will have the benefit of better grain fill and in the case of the spring barley, weak secondary tillers will now be able to make a useful contribution to the yield.

Winter oilseed rape crops are at the GS6.4 stage – seed at green to brown – and will be ready for desiccation in the next 10 days. Overall, most oilseed rape crops are looking very good and should yield well.

Septoria tritici is now starting to appear on the middle leaves of some crops and mildew is obvious on many. I believe septoria is there because of the poor spraying conditions during April and May and it seems to have been a particularly bad year for mildew. I shall make sure a specific mildewcide is added to the T1 mix next season.

There are some cases of poor blackgrass control in many crops this year. This could simply be because the weeds were tough at the time of spraying as a result of the dry weather, but it is also possible that resistance is slowly creeping in. This is obvious where some blackgrass plants are green and healthy among other dead plants.

Where blackgrass resistance is suspected, it would be advisable to have the seed tested through an FOC scheme organised by ADAS and sponsored by BASF. Take mature seeds of the blackgrass plant, probably in the third week of July when the blackgrass seed is mature and falls off the seed head when shaken.

Spring peas have weathered the dry conditions well and look to be in good shape. Peas sprayed two weeks ago at early flowering against aphids and diseases are clean, except more pea midge is present than usual.