The phrase “no two years are thesame” is so true for the drilling conditions compared with lastyear. There has been rapid drilling progress with seed-beds rangingfrom dustbowls on earlier worked heavier land to good, fine andfirm seed-beds.
Those successful enough toconserve seed-bed moisture have seen wheat crops emerging quicklyand thankfully with little slug damage so far. For other crops agood rain will be needed for germination to takeplace.
Pre-emergence herbicides arebeing applied where grass weeds are a problem, which is even morecrucial in barley as there are so few successful post-emergenceoptions available.
The question of how early to sowsecond wheats has been asked many times already, indicating howwell drilling is going. However, the last week in September istypically the earliest timing when used with a take-all seeddressing.
Pigeons are likely to have plentyof oilseed rape to choose from this winter as the rape area appearshigher than last year as rotations return to normal along withreductions in the barley area. Rape plants have generally emergedwell and those sown with subsoiler seeder units look particularlystrong.
Volunteer barley has emergedthick and fast in min-tilled crops with good flushes of blackgrassand ryegrass allowing graminicides to take out this early flush.Rates of graminicide have needed to be increased due to the dryconditions making grass weeds more difficult to control. Fleabeetle damage is increasing but still at relatively lowlevels.
Most wouldwelcome some rain now to freshen up oilseed rape crops, soften someseed-beds and make seed germinate. As long as it doesn’t rain toomuch!