Welcome rainfall from Friday 19 and through the following week has seen crops take off at a rapid pace. With the crops being dormant for so long we will now see the early part of this season as a race to keep up with the growth stages.

Winter barley has greened up but is the slowest to get going, looking at T1 application week commencing 5 April, there are many crops with a complete absence of cleavers/broad leaved weeds. With the absence of fluoxy/prothio will go down the route of izm/cyprodonil based upon good results from previous years trials, also has good compatibility range and as it is a one can solution saves on packaging and the number of products to fit in the tank.

Winter oilseed rape is reaching for the sky. Some crops must have put on 3-4 inches of growth in the last week, it is noticeable that the hybrids (particularly Excalibur) are growing the fastest. I have never been convinced about autumn vigor, but spring growth definitely rapid.

I will have quite a few crops that will need some form of growth regulation/canopy management and will look to do this week commencing 5 April. All crops have had approximately 60-70kg of N with balance to go on in April as late as we dare go with the spreaders.

Winter wheat is also growing rapidly and hoping to get T0 applications on this week, I would normally go in for wild oats at this stage, but I’m expecting a big April flush and will apply wild oat herbicides at T1. T0 this year cleaning up cleavers, groundsel and volunteer oilseed rape (although there are quite a few fields that are either completely clean or the cleaver situation is low enough to leave until T2. No yellow rust seen as yet will use a strob at T1 to ensure situation does not get out of hand.