North: Autumn spraying almost complete

Earlier drilled wheat crops look great as the mild weather continues into early November.  A lot of Atlantis (mesosulfuron + iodosulfuron) has already been applied to earlier drilled wheats, when the blackgrass had reached 1-2 leaves.

With pre-emergence herbicides working so well and mild weather for Atlantis applications, we should obtain high levels of blackgrass control this autumn. The dilemma for recently emerged wheats is whether the Atlantis will be applied pre-Christmas or in the spring. I suspect it will be the latter unless conditions remain mild later this month, as wheat needs to have at least two leaves per plant before using Atlantis.

Slug activity remains low apart from a few hotspots on some heavier land, so keep checking emerging crops.

Winter barley crops look remarkably clean where pre-em herbicides were applied. Fields with just meadowgrass and broad-leaved weeds have recently had an autumn herbicide combined with an aphicide. Lighter land sites will keep needing to be topped up with some manganese.

Oilseed rape crops continue to thrive. Complete any outstanding fungicide applications for phoma  as soon as conditions allow, as thresholds have been exceeded in  most crops for a while now. With soil temperatures falling applications of propyzamide or carbetamide should now be made.

As the days shorten it would be worthwhile digging out the Cross Compliance Soil Protection Review book, which needs to be completed before the end of the year.  It is more comprehensive than in previous years and non-compliance carries a penalty to your Single Farm Payment.

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