Like most other areas,Shropshire has seen five weeks with no rain until Tuesday nightwhen most of the county had approximately 20mm.

Thankfully, this got down to seed whichhad been sitting in dust for a similar period of time.

Drilling has carried on apace with somefarms drilled up and seed-beds in the main pretty good.

Winter barley is 90% drilled with mostforward crops at GS21. All are looking a bit tender and would likesome cold nights to harden them off before we start spraying, whichI would like to start this coming week.

Winter oilseed rape drilling is completedwith forward crops at six to eight true leaves. Crops drilled inmid September are at cotyledon and will probably grow away now wehave had the rain.

Phoma is starting to come in but is notat threshold as yet.

Leaf minor damage is visible on mostcrops but not a major concern.

Crops after barley have been sprayed forvolunteers and crops after wheat will be sprayed at the end of thecoming week, probably with a fungicide. One crop has beenre-drilled due to capping and some min-till crops have panned justbelow the surface and are struggling. However, I think the moisturewill help.

Winter Wheat is 80% drilled with mostforward crops at GS23. The remainder is after potatoes, beans,maize and a small acreage of second wheats.

Crystal/Graduate has let me down for thefirst time in use after rape. Volunteer rape has got through it andwill need an over-spray to remove it (some is at the two to threeleaf stage).

Rye grass is emerging very quickly andmay need autumn treatment. I am using Othello after beans and oatswhich will I hope remove volunteers and avoid high competitionlevels before the spring.

Aphids are present in most crops from anearly growth stage. Most has been treated with Deter, but thosethat have not will need early treatment.