East: Anyone know how to grow rice?

As my other cropwatch penpushers have said over the last week or so, enough is enough, 80mm of rain in 17 days is a little over the top. Admittedly everything is green but the difficulties in getting anything done is beginning to be worrying.

The value of T0 sprays has shown up markedly this year as  the time between T0 and the planned T1 sprays on the more forward crops has stretched beyond my favoured  three weeks to now four and a half, and meant the old enemy septoria is now appearing on the upper leaves. Spraying on these crops is more than urgent and in some cases has meant a rethink in treatment. Simple one might think but product availability at the drop of a hat is proving problematical nationwide this year.

Of course it is not just the state of the ground that is a problem, it is the drying time where sprays have gone on causing headaches with frequent showers appearing from nowhere.

All that said the crops in this area still show tremendous potential so using the best materials at the best rates still remains an ideal.

Oil seed rape is now flowering well and with the wet and now warmer nights sclerotinia sprays are more than urgent. Given the price of rape and the healthy-looking crops around, the stronger than normal threat of sclerotinia will justify to a two spray approach in order to maximise the crop’s full potential.

In sugar beet, this year has proved to be the worst I have seen for mice damage, particularly on the heavier seedbeds where drilling depth was an issue. Skylarks (rare aren’t they?) are also doing their bit.

The big problem now is being able to travel on what have now become “bogs” in order to get a post-em spray on. As with T0 in wheat, the decision to use a pre-em in beet this year even when it was bone dry has proved to be a very smart move, especially given our the inability to move at the moment. Indeed row crop wheels are being changed yet again.

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