Once again rainfall across the region has been very variable, with some areas receiving heavy showers but most still being excessively dry for the time of year. In many later-drilled wheat crops germination is patchy, with seed sitting in dry soil. On the plus side, so far there is no sign of blue mould on the seed and all we need is a few millimetres of rain to boost establishment.
Soil conditions are challenging for pre-emergence herbicides, especially on the earlier drillings, with blackgrass reaching the three-leaf stage apparently unharmed. It means that follow-up, post-emergence treatments will be applied earlier than usual and we shall have to hope that all blackgrass has emerged by then.
If pre-emergence treatments are having little effect on the weeds, it makes it even more important to carry out the post-emergence follow-up in the autumn, rather than waiting until spring, when the blackgrass will be enormous.