Better recent weather has led to many outstanding grassweedspraying jobs being completed, with Atlantis or Pacifica (bothiodosulfuron + mesosulfuron) being needed in the most difficultsituations.

Early first wheats are at GS30 and T0 is now being recommended,an appropriate triazole/chlorothanonil mix proving popular. Diseaselevels are variable. Very few rust pustules can be found and mildewinfections are low, but Septoria tritici levels are high.

Wheat development seems slower this year, possibly 7-10 dayslate. There is also a huge difference in crop stands where fieldsare 300-400ft above sea level after the very cold winter. After twoweeks of dry weather slug activity is minimal, but rabbits remain amassive problem that still needs addressing.

Pigeons continue to graze oilseed rape heavily causing seriousproblems. Where the pests have been controlled a minority of strongrape crops have started to extend and grow on quickly.

Many crops were sprayed in the autumn for phoma and treatmentshave worked well, as levels are now low. But, with so many unevencrops, special attention needs to be paid to pollen beetle control,as the worst damage is seen in warmer, sunny conditions with thecrop at tight green bud.

Spring beans have been very popular and seed-beds good. Manyhave been rolled and sprayed pre-emergence with herbicide. The needfor these residuals to work well is more important than ever, asthere is such a limited armoury of post-emergent contact productsapproved.