Summer continues as before, with rain most days and localised torrential downpours. Temperatures have picked up though, which should help maize crops, most of which look pale and unhappy.

Winter oilseed rape is approaching the time for pre-harvest glyphosate. Most growers will use a pod sealant as well. For some laid crops, those where the stem is kinked over, diquat may be a better option, applied closer to harvest.

Winter barley crops also need assessing for pre-harvest treatments as some have a lot of weed regrowth. Wait for the grain to be below 30% moisture before applying glyphosate.

Some growers have decided to apply a T4, or second ear spray, to winter wheat. We shan’t know until harvest whether it has been worthwhile but, given the weather, it could be the right thing to do. Spring wheat ears are emerging and a protectant fungicide should be a standard treatment this year.

Wheat needs checking for aphids in the ear. Don’t spray unless the
threshold numbers are reached, which is very rare these days. If it is
necessary to spray, use a product safe to aphid predators. There are
large numbers of ladybirds in most crops and it would be silly to kill
them.

Chocolate spot in beans has been severe all spring and continues to
be a problem. Fungicides work for only a couple of weeks before the
disease starts to spread to new growth. That, coupled with disappointing
pod set, makes for a poor outlook for the winter bean harvest. 

Beans and peas need monitoring for aphids. Black aphids in beans
cluster near the top of the plant, but in peas you need to look carefully
inside the flowers to find the green aphids. If spraying is needed,
again, use the products safer to predators.