Crop Watch: ‘Keep a close eye on post cold snap diseases’

Winter crops appear to have survived the recent cold snap relatively unscathed, say our Crop Watch agronomists – but they advise close monitoring of crops for diseases over the next few weeks.

Readjusting spring spraying programmes was necessary, they said, because the wet November weather and cold winter reduced opportunities for applications.

A range of diseases had already been spotted said AICC agronomist Ruth East,  from Lincolnshire, who seized the opportunity last week to spray oilseed rape with outstanding propyzamide and carbetamide applications.

“Oilseed rape crops appear to have come through the winter so far unscathed, but it is early days and it will be interesting to see if the extremely low temperatures will have affected some of the large canopy crops internally.”

Southern Crop Watch agronomist Swaran Bachoo had seen a large amount of phoma in untreated crops and some new growth on autumn-treated stands. Applying a robust rate of a fungicide such as Capitan (flusilazole) was essential, he said.

He also reckoned light leaf spot was at its highest level for 34 years.

“Where light leaf spot levels are high apply Proline (prothioconazole) or add a product containing carbendazim to your Capitan application,” he advised.

Independent Wiltshire/Dorset agronomist Dan Dines, said winter cereal crops were looking well – despite autumn applications of Atlantis to eliminate blackgrass not always being possible.

In Yorkshire David Martindale, from Arable Alliance, estimated only 25% of Atlantis was applied, and as a result, he had some well tillered populations of blackgrass to control this spring.

Wet and cold soils meant he would have to wait a while before applying spring Atlantis.

“Blackgrass is now well tillered, and it is vital to take every step possible to maximise product efficacy,” he said.

He had also spotted lots of septoria tritici on lower leaves of wheat and said mildew has been checked, but not totally killed by the cold snap – probably due to the “blanket effect” of the recent snow.

Click below for the full report from each region.

Crop Watch East – Ruth East

Crop Watch West – Dan Dines

Crop Watch South – Swaran Bachoo

Crop Watch North – David Martindale

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