What a difference a fortnight makes! Having been away for a week or so I’ve come back to a hive of activity.

 

The last bits of winter wheat have gone in, ground is being moved/prepared for spring wheat and barley, and many crops have received an early dose of nitrogen. The sub-zero temperatures are preventing crops from waking up at the moment, but I have every confidence that when the weather warms up they’ll take off quite nicely.

 

At the time of writing there’s still time and conditions are ideal for any last minute carbetamide applications to OSR (end of February is the latest time), but by the time this goes to press it’ll be too late.

 

Rape crops that have had a lower than usual early N dose will need topping up as soon as it starts to grow away. There are still some outstanding herbicide recommendations (eg bifenox, picloram/clopyralid etc) and these need to go on sooner rather than later.

With many spring wheat/barley crops destined to go into ground originally programmed for winter wheat, the chances are the grassweed history of these fields is going to be high. With that in mind, a high proportion of these fields will be getting pre-emergence recommendations.

 

For blackgrass and ryegrass, flufenacet/DFF mixes make a good starting point, and for meadowgrasses pendimethalin will be helpful.

 

Where spring oilseed rape and linseed are planned, the temptation to go in too early should be avoided. These crops need to grow away as soon as they are planted, and soil temperatures need to be considerably warmer than they are at the moment before we start thinking about drilling them.