9 May 1997

Late frosts hit early wheats

FROST damage has hit some early drilled wheats. At Morley Research Stations farm in Norfolk temperatures fell to -7C, killing some ears in the main tillers of wheats sown in the third week of September, says Mike Nuttall.

Early-developing wheats seem to be most prone. "Soissons has been affected. And there may be some on Caxton and Rialto. It is too early to predict the extent of the damage. Other tillers may compensate to an extent."

Although Oxon suffered similar low temperatures, Dick Makepeace of Oxford Agricultural Consultants has not seen any direct effects. "We are about a week behind here, so we may have escaped." However, some crops sprayed with manganese sulphate just before the frosts have been devastated, he adds.

ADASs John Garstang says consultants have reported frosted ears in wheat and barley stems in the south, especially Oxon and Hants. &#42