Farmers Weekly Interactive

East: Phoma levels rising in oilseed rape

This has to be the fastest growing autumn I’ve seen for quite a while both in plant growth and speed of drilling. Land after sugar beet has been ploughed, drilled and up in 10 days.

The rain 10-14 days ago has really helped everything, particularly the patchy emerged crops in this area. Seed-beds are the best seen since the early drillings, so we are hopeful that this good start to the year will continue.

However, the speed of growth has brought some problems, in that certain crops are carrying some high levels of disease. For the first time in many years I am having to control mildew in some varieties of barley along with some alarming manganese deficiencies.

This is causing headaches as weed control has fallen back because of some windy conditions and the crop needs to be healthy.

In general, oilseed rape is also growing at a fair speed and the disease predictors from Rothamsted are showing phoma thresholds will be reached in the next few days in the east.

Correct products to take PGR effects into account need to be factored in to attempt to reduce canopy height, especially if the forecasters warnings of a bad winter are to be believed. It is also noticeable how much charlock is flowering in crops, these should not be an issue as winter will kill them off but there is a lot more to come, getting to them could be an issue unless the canopy collapses

Some good sugar beet returns are coming in but the legacy of the dry windy spring is causing problems with harvesting in some crops. Knotgrass is the major problem due to delays in spraying, which allowed the knotgrass to get too much of a hold in some fields.

Brian Ross

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