16 August 2001
Problems with take all and wireworm in Latvia

Im having problems direct-drilling in Latvia. Rye was wiped out by wireworm on one 60 ha field, and wheat never really got going in the spring, even after large dressings of ammonium nitrate. The crop was also full of disease and ended up being virtually wiped out by take-all. Seed treatments designed for wireworm and take-all control are unregistered here. Have you any advice or should I sell the one-year-old drill?

The rye being taken out by wireworm would probably have happened even if the land had been ploughed.

In the past we have broken up old grassland, planted wheat which has established well only to be completely destroyed later by wireworm.

As for the wheat crop, without seeing the crop (or lack of it) it is difficult to pass comment.

Land that has been neglected or is in poor heart (which can cover just about everything – fertility, pH, poor drainage, soil compaction, a long run of mono-cropping) is very often unsuited to direct-drilling. The better land will always produce the best results.

From:Jim Bullock