Spring is slow to come and it’s only been in the last few days that we have seen any growth. The crops have stood still for the last month. Cereals that did not receive any autumn herbicide have now had the weeds tidied up and most have now only just had a T0 fungicide, which was based around chlorothalonil plus growth regulator.

There are some forward wheat crops that are now nearing T1. This will be based around Aylora (penthiopyrad + chlorothalonil), Corral (epoxiconazole) and a top up of chlorothalonil. T1 rates will not be reduced to save money as it’s not the right approach this spring, savings maybe able to be made later at T2 or T3. Barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) is now showing in crops that were not treated with Deter (clothianidin) or if they didn’t receive an aphicide in the autumn.

The winter oats have now regained their colour after going purple for a few weeks following a couple of hard frosts – they looked as though they had been sprayed off, I had quite a few phone calls and comments made.

The oilseed rape is now coming into yellow bud, but crops are uneven due to waterlogging and pigeon damage. The cold wet weather has meant that pollen beetle has not been a problem, but it won’t  really encourage bees and pollination either, but thankfully disease levels are low.

There are still some spring cereal crops to be drilled on the heavier land, but the ones sown on the lighter land are now appearing and the barleys should now be receiving there nitrogen as well as the growth regulator and manganese.

We know the season has been cold and slow, but it’s always difficult to measure the effect it has. However, if you take grass then it gives you some figures that you can evaluate. The grass growth this spring has been very slow, with growth rates of 5-10kgs DM/ha/day when they would normally have been 30-40kg DM/Ha/day. This just shows the effect of the weather on plant growth. It’s only now in the last week that growth has been where it should be.