Planting conditions are generally very good and soil temperatures are in to double figures, although some of the early ploughed soils on the Wolds have pulled up wet.

Conversely some of the later ploughed fields will need a close eye kept on them so they don’t bake out too much, making the timing of cultivations crucial.

John SarupOne piece of good news, particularly for seed growers, is the Extension of Authorisation for Minor Use for the application of 3 litres/ha of Tizca (fluazinam), in furrow, for the control of powdery scab.

While it won’t eliminate the problem altogether, it will help reduce incidence and, hopefully, make grading much easier.

Growers in Cheshire are catching up quickly after their relatively slow start and given that a lot of the earlies are chitted, along with warm soils, emergence won’t take long.

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Digging in a few fields both pre-and post-ploughing have brought up a few slugs, even in fields with no oilseed rape in the rotation.

If it stays dry targeting them with pellets will be challenging as they won’t come to the surface to feed, unless irrigating of course. Trials suggest that the most cost-effective timing of application is just prior to canopy closure.