East: Blackgrass challenge in oilseed rape

Reports of blackgrass problems in oilseed rape and poor performance of traditional fop and dim chemistry are starting to come in from some of my colleagues.

This is a little worrying as it means that we will have to start using residual products earlier than normal. Carbetamide will be used first and it is vital that the recommendations are followed to the letter as the potential for damage is higher when going earlier and in warmer conditions.

Propyzamide may need to used after this and this definitely requires lower soil temperatures. This approach will be costly but some blackgrass is very aggressive.

The late opening of some beet factories is causing a bit of concern for heavy land growers who can see the chance of getting wheat in after beet is going to be challenging to say the least.

The constant wet weather means soil conditions after beet harvest will not be conducive to good seed-beds. The beet that some of my clients have delivered is yielding well but sugars content is a lot lower than last year.

There is a lot of drilling still to be done and though not late, the weather is not looking to be very helpful this week. It has also slowed up the pre-emergence spraying that had been planned. This is not too much of a problem in wheat but the post-emergence options in barley are limited.

I am beginning to find more slug activity in later-drilled oilseed rape and because soils are wet this is likely to increase. I’ve also heard some phoma has been found in the west of our region, which is likely to increase quickly in the current conditions.

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