South: Wet weather triggers heavy weed flush

At the time of writing harvest has been frustratingly held up by enough rain every 36 hours to prevent it going further. It’s been a pretty protracted harvest so far, with an early start but will end up being a late finish.


Yields have ranged from fairly ordinary to outstanding, and are directly proportional, even within a field, to the quality of the soil they are growing on. The exception is winter oilseed rape, having had a fantastic year, albeit with huge varietal differences. So much for blind pods and pollen beetle damage.


Regardless of different crops, if anyone had said back in late May that we would be harvesting even average yields this year we would have happily accepted that.

The recent wet weather, whilst saving the spring crops, has also triggered a germination and subsequent massive rapid growth of weeds in open crops. Winter beans, late backward wheats, spring beans and linseed are all looking quite tatty with a comprehensive use of glyphosate required to help harvest.

Weed control in winter beans has been a major issue for the last few years to such an extent that I may be down to one grower, if any at all.

Oilseed rape is now being drilled and hopefully will be up and away rapidly, with moist seed-beds and some warmer weather. Most, if not all of it, will receive a post-emergence application of slug pellets as slug numbers have recovered well from the dry spell.


With a couple of weeks to go before drilling starts in earnest I’m hoping there will be a good opportunity to get a nice chit of grassweeds sprayed off with glyphosate as close to the point of drilling as possible.



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