Harvest is rapidly approaching and winter barleys on light land that escaped the showers are turning quickly. Heavier soil types that had plenty of rain are faring better.

Some of the indifferent wheat crops now look superb and are fullof potential.

While disease levels are generally lower than last year’s,problems are beginning to show.

I have a field of Oakley that had a small spray miss at T1resulting in total defoliation by yellow rust. Another customer didthe same at T2 on Solstice and now the upper canopy isdefoliated.

This new race seems very aggressive and we all need to thinklong and hard about next year’s variety choices; ideally,restricting susceptible varieties to an area that can be sprayed inone day.

The main problem with this approach is that few varieties arenow in the low-risk category and seed supply of them may be a realissue.

Agronomy-wise it’s fairly quiet at the moment, but I had tospray most of my winter and spring beans last week for black beanaphids, some crops also having huge numbers of pea aphids inthem.

A few aphids can also be found on wheat ears and it’s possiblethat this week’s hot and humid weather could cause an explosion innumbers.

It will very shortly be time to desiccate winter oilseed rape.The biggest challenge this year, given the uneven crops, will be toget the timing right. Some fields may require splitting to avoidred seed in the sample.

Last year I used a lot of Pod-Stik applied with glyphosate. Thisworked very well, with most users raving over its performance. Itwill probably be an even more valuable tool this year.