All crops continue to thrive since the recent rains have washed in the nitrogen and recent warm weather has allowed rapid crop growth. Oilseed rape crops, in particular, are growing quickly with many now at the stem extension phase.
Thick and forward crops will soon be ready for a fungicide with growth regulatory activity using active ingredients such as tebuconazole or metconazole. Light leaf spot is becoming more obvious so fungicide choice will need to consider this as well.
With many crops at the green bud stage start checking crops for pollen beetle, particularly if the temperature remains warm. The threshold before treating with an insecticide is 15 beetles per plant in normal crops and five beetles per plant in backward crops.
Most winter wheat crops look very well. The earliest crops are now approaching, or are at GS30, so they will soon be ready for growth regulators with or without a T0 fungicide. With such a large wheat area susceptible to either yellow or brown rust, a T0 fungicide will be required on the majority of my crops, particularly as rust pressure is increasing again since the cold snap of late February.
Septoria tritici levels are quite high with mildew obvious in susceptible varieties. The T0 fungicide will be based on a triazole plus chlorothalonil mix to take care of the rusts and protect against septoria tritici. Robust rates of growth regulator will be required on the thicker crops which were early sown.
Wheat bulb fly deadhearts are becoming obvious now. Earlier drilled crops will be able to withstand this damage due to high tiller numbers, but later drilled crops are being treated with dimethoate where attacks are severe.
Winter barley crops generally look well. Correcting manganese deficiency has been the main reason for sprayer activity on the lighter land. Mildew is present in many crops with brown rust beginning to develop, but these can be dealt with at T1.
For malting crops, aim to have the final nitrogen applied by the end of this month in order to keep grain nitrogen levels low enough to meet market specifications.