Most oilseed rape crops have been sprayed off with RoundupUltimate (glyphosate), and those which are very uneven will besprayed next week with Quad (diquat) when 90% of the seed in themiddle third of the raceme is brown.

Timing will be critical to make sure that the later maturingseed is at the correct stage and that there is no loss from theearly maturing pods.

Winter wheats are at the cheesy ripe stage (GS80) and somesecond crops are showing signs of take-all, accentuated by the dry,hot weather. Sartorial lesions are now obvious where treatmentswere not correctly timed, but it is too late to make economicapplications.

Winter barleys are maturing fast and will be harvested in thenext week.The light chalky soils are desperately dry and rain willbe most welcome for grain-filling, albeit too late for winterbarley and perhaps spring barley.

It’s time to investigate reasons for areas of poor growth infields and devise plans of action to rectify problems. The reasonsmay be many, including nutrient deficiency, soil compaction, orpest damage.

Make sure proper hygiene standards are adopted to clean anddisinfect grain stores against mites and beetles that can greatlyaffect the quality and saleability of crops. Please note that grainstores should be treated at least six weeks before the grain isbrought into the store.

Thoughts are turning to next year’s plantings and the vast arrayof varieties available, old and new.

A winter wheat of great interest this year is Gallant, a Group 1variety, which the millers seem to like; so it may be pertinent totry a small acreage somewhere to see how it performs.

Otherwise it’s best to stick to tried and tested varieties thatsuit your farm, as buyers are sometimes very fickle and changetheir mind at the last moment. Remember last year’s introduction ofViscount winter wheat?