Crop Watch: Orange wheat blossom midge hysteria hits south and east

National chlorpyrifos week has arrived, according to Todd Hunnisett of Chichester Crop Consultants, this week’s southern Crop Watch reporter.

However, he is unsure all the hype to spray for orange wheat blossom midge is justified. “Of all the potential hazards to hit a crop of wheat I have never known anything demand so many column inches and mental energy as orange wheat blossom midge,” he says.

In the east, Andrew Blazey of Prime Agriculture, also highlights the risk from the insect. Recent wet weather has bumped up the threat, he says. But sightings and trappings have been sporadic to date. “The first few days of June will be critical and vigilance will be required especially if we have still mild evenings.”

In Devon and Cornwall, Neil Potts of Matford Arable, is bemoaning the delays to some growers T1 fungicides and growth regulator sprays. Septoria is now evident on leaf three, and there is also some lodging in some crops. “As input costs rise steadily, these kinds of mistakes are going to be increasingly expensive for growers,” he points out.

David Cairns, McCreath, Simpson and Prentice’s agrochemical manager, is thankful rain has arrived to help stressed crops in the north, even if June feels more like November so far.

Spring barley varies in growth stage from having just two leaves to flag leaf emerged, he writes, but most crops have had a first fungicide. “As awns emerge all barley will receive the most important T2 fungicide, which will be strobilurin / prothioconazole backed up with chlorothalonil  for ramularia protection.”

To read the full reports click on the links below:

East (Andrew Blazey)

West (Neil Potts)

North (David Cairns)

South (Todd Hunnisett)