Crop Watch: Lodging concerns in oilseed rape and cereals

One thing is clearly pressing on our Crop Watch agronomists’ minds this week – how to stop crops falling over.

While barley and wheat are still standing proud in the main, there’s a definite concern that lodging could be a real issue if the wet, windy weather continues.

The same can’t be said for oilseed rape. All around the country there are reports of top-heavy, green crops going over. This, in combination with the huge variation in pod maturity, poses some questions about pod sealants and desiccants. Growers are advised to look to a diquat rather than glyphosate to try and even things out.

More pressing are the ongoing sclerotinia and alternaria issues – be prepared to have another run through the rape with a fungicide to keep on top of things.

The other common area for concern is maize. Establishment has been patchy with small, weak seedlings struggling to outcompete the weeds. There is concern about scorching these delicate stunted crops with a herbicide but it may prove to be the only way of ensuring their survival.

And it’s not just the weeds that threaten the maize. Slugs are having a field day so controlling them will add to the chemical bill. Ultimately what these pale, yellowy crops need is a good dose of sunshine.

More on this topic

To read full in-depth reports from around the UK, go to the Crop Watch blog.

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