Crop Watch: ‘Grassweeds are a priority’

Tidying up grassweeds is top of the agenda for our Crop Watch agronomists along with nitrogen timing and watching out for disease.

Where Atlantis (mesosulfuron + idosulfuron) was not applied in the autumn Pacifica would be used to control blackgrass, said UAP agronomist Will Foss from Cambridgeshire. “At 0.4kg/ha its higher loading of active ingredient gives better blackgrass control.”

Rates would be upped to 0.5kg/ha where brome needed to be controlled, he added.

It was importanct to avoid tank-mixing with anything other than adjuvant Biopower to improve efficacy. But this could become difficult if soil temperatures didn’t rise and spray timings were pushed back, he admitted.

In the east, grassweeds still needed to be controlled in oilseed rape, but it was too late to apply Kerb Flo (propyzamide) and growers needed to switch to carbetamex, said HL Hutchinson agronomist James Boswell.

Many crops hadn’t been sprayed for phoma in the autumn and consequently the disease was rife and needed controlling, he said “Flusilazole applied at 0.5-0.6l/ha should give good control.” Light leaf spot wasn’t a problem in his area, but it could be found in some crops in Gloucestershie.

Countrywide Farmers agronomist Neil Donkin had seen severe infections of phoma develop over the winter and light leaf spot could also be found in some crops, he said. “If travelling through with carbetamide it’s worthwhile putting in a suitable fungicide, too.”

There were high levels of septoria tritici in wheat and rhynchosporium in barley, but no yellow rust had been spotted in wheat, he said.

In Scotland, AICC agronomist Andrew Riddell from East Lothian said most decisions for treating disease could wait until the end of the month, with the exception of yellow rust. “Farms in costal areas will need to keep a close eye on yellow rust, particularly in Viscount, Robigus and Oakley.”

Although the weather was not conducive to early nitrogen applications, small oilseed rape crops would receive 60kg/N/ha before the end of the month, he hoped.

Eastern agronomist Will Foss was conducting soil mineral nitrogen analysis and early indications were that levels were at least as low as last season, he said.

Click below for a full report from each region:

Crop Watch East: James Boswell

Crop Watch West: Will Foss

Crop Watch South: Neil Donkin

Crop Watch North: Andrew Riddle

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