Farmers Weekly Interactive

West: Dry weather impacting on light land

The dry weather is just starting to show signs of having an impact on the lighter land crops, with early signs of shoots starting to turn yellow which will I guess lead to tiller loss! Field work has never been so easy, with most having applied sulphur N 2-3 weeks ago and now starting to finish winter barley off this week. Along with the winter wheat, getting its second split.

Some are just starting to get nervous about the rape in terms of the final split of N and managing to spread evenly over 24-36m. The rapid growth that has occurred over the last 10-14 days, particularly with temps hitting 19C over the weekend and today, means applications have started over the weekend (with no sign of rain it is unlikely that this N will be taken up immediately). Winter oats have had to be treated with a mildewicide over the last 10 days or so as the mildew was really starting to take a hold

A lot of winter barley crops are rapidly approaching GS 30 and some hitting GS31, which means that we will start T1 applications this week. More mildew in barley crops than normal, BUT cool nights is keeping it from really taking off. I will be using prothioconazole + bixafen at T1, which looking at the HGCA curves should keep the mildew at bay without the need for adding a specific mildewicide. Rhynchosporium levels are not too bad, with net blotch at higher levels BUT again not horrendous.

Some light land barley crops have areas in the field which are very stunted with stunted root growth and not appearing to respond to nitrogen. I am trying to discover what this is, with the early theory being rhizoctonia? (It is not BaYMV as the varieties of barley with the symptoms are BaYMV resistant ) It also appears to be worse on those crops that had to have an autumn mildewicide, along with manganese.

Winter oilseed rape crops have  really taken off over the last 10-14 days with leading shoots starting to flower over the weekend (hence fert spreaders starting to go into fields now!). Light leaf spot did not become a major issue, so growth regulatory sprays went on last week (no major issues with pollen beetle as yet, although warm weather this week may change the situation and then becomes a race between flowering and the beetles!). Crops not requiring a growth regulator were sprayed the week before this. All crops, even the late germinating crops looking very good and no crops are overly thick.

Earliest sown winter wheat is at GS 31 on the main stem with the majority of remaining crops just hitting GS 30. Mildew is present in most crops at varying levels with Oakley, Humber and Solstice with the highest levels. As such I am putting cyflufenamid in with the T0 fungicide (cyproconazole + chlorothalonil + propiconazole ), which we are starting this week.

My Oakley still behaving itself, with no sign of yellow rust as yet BUT spraying most of my Oakley this week as I cannot help but think it will do the dirty on me sooner or later and because the mildew needs sorting out! There are reports of yellow rust on Conqueror, Viscount and Oakley in the west midlands BUT not at major levels.

Septoria levels are the highest I have seen for a long time with bottom leaves either dead due to the combination of both overwintered mildew and septoria, or if not senesced just covered with septoria lesions. Although dry conditions are prevailing, we have had 2- 3 weeks of very heavy dews which will keep the disease going.

Bryce Rham

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