We seem to have gone from complaining about dry conditions to praying for it to stop raining in a very short period of time. The recent weather has played havoc with spraying programmes but most people are now back on track, albeit with some rather deep tramlines to show for their efforts!
Forward wheat crops are at early flag emergence and some only received a T1 fungicide in the last 7 days. The inevitable dilemma now is how soon to follow up with the Flag leaf fungicide? Most delayed T1 applications will have hit leaf 2 so can we afford to delay the T2 application? My view is a definite no, disease pressure especially septoria is very high and the flag leaf is responsible for 50% of yield.
Some of the new SDHI fungicides offer better kickback than triazoles, but still give the best yield responses applied at growth stage 39. In most cases I am basing the T2 fungicide around SDHI materials, using either a xemium or isopyrazam based fungicide depending on disease pressure and yield potential. Early crops will be ready by about the 19th with the bulk of the wheat crop at GS 39 from the 21st onwards.
Rape crops look well, unfortunately some of the taller varieties – in particular Dimension and Sesame – seem to have lodged in places despite a well timed and robust dose of metconazole. The worst lodging is on heavy soils where the soil was saturated and crops simply lost anchorage in the gales and torrential rain in early May.
Most crops have just received a second sclerotinia spray. Hopefully timing delays have not allowed too much disease into the crop. Seed weevil numbers are low this year so very few crops have had to be treated with an insecticide. The exception being one or two crops with established colonies of mealy aphids that I treated with Aphox.