Crop Watch: Oilseed rape puts on a growth spurt

Warmer weather has pushed crops on in the last week, but the clashing of key herbicide and T0 fungicide applications are causing a headache for the Crop Watch agronomists.

AICC agronomist Bryce Rham, Shropshire, said that winter oilseed rape is reaching for the sky with some crops putting on 3-4in of growth in the last week.

“I will have quite a few crops that will need some form of growth regulation/canopy management and will look to it this next week.”

However, Mr Rham has opted to delay his herbicide application for wild oats in winter wheat. “I would normally go in for wild oats at this stage, but I’m expecting a big April flush and will apply wild oat herbicides at the same time as T1 fungicides, instead.”

For Nick Brown of ProCam in Oxfordshire and Hertfordshire, the bulk of the wheat crop under his care looks likely to hit T0 in the first week in April. “Hopefully, most outstanding blackgrass treatments will have gone on by then.”

He adds: “I will be using a chlorothalonil/triazole/growth regulator mix on those varieties susceptable to yellow rust.” But mindful of cost, he plans to use straight chlorothalonil instead for varieties resistant to yellow rust.

But for Patrick Stephenson in North Yorkshire, T0 sprays are going to be a real dilemma, as backward crops and cold weather mean that timings will become problematic.” I think it may be easier to leave the sprayer in the field because at the current rate, we will be applying a spray every week.”

Spring drilling has carried on at a pace and this year spring beans and linseed make a return to the cropping mosaic. “Although pretty to look at I don’t think they will fund many trips to the Maldives,” says Mr Stephenson.

In Suffolk, Brian Ross of Frontier Agriculture has seen “deadheart” symptoms in some fields from wheat bulb fly invasion.

“These need to be monitored carefully as the egg hatch has been so protracted. The product used now must be a dimethoate one, as it is the one that can get into the plant and kill the maggot. An addition of a leicithin-based adjuvant will help the penetration of the product for a faster kill.

“Quite a lot of ‘red wheat’ has been drilled in my area and if it does as well as last year, it will prove to be a good spring alternative for those who grow it.”

Click below for the full report from each region

Crop Watch East – Brian Ross

Crop Watch West – Bryce Rham

Crop Watch South – Nick Brown

Crop Watch North – Patrick Stevenson