Crop Watch – South

Steve Cook – Hampshire Arable Systems

Winter wheat T1 fungicides are now being applied. Leaf three is now emerged in most crops, and some early September sowings of Solstice and Einstein have leaf two emerging.

T1 spraying is urgent if not already completed as the last three weeks have seen significant rain splash events – septoria will be developing in these important leaves.

Second wheats are generally later sown so the important leaves will not have been exposed to septoria spores for so long which means that prothioconazole will be sufficient and will bring eyespot and fusarium control. Azoxystrobin may be added to second wheats to cover take-all.

Mildew is active and threatening again so control may be needed on susceptible varieties e.g. Claire and Solstice.

Winter oilseed rape crops are approaching the twenty pod set stage for mid-flowering fungicide.

Sclerotinia is not our main concern but alternaria is a real problem and protection will be needed to take the crop from now to harvest. Costs will be careful considered but crops will be treated.

Spring barley crops are growing slowly and weed emergence has been low so far! This will all change rapidly with warm temperatures.

Winter oats are running out of soil nitrogen reserves and so it will soon be time to consider fertilizer applications although starving then for a while will help keep them short.

Most of our crops can not have chlormequat applied so this will be a method of growth regulation. Last year, despite some dry May weather after application yields were not reduced by this action.

Return to Crop Watch homepage

12 April 2005

Neil Potts – Matford Arable Systems
(Click to contact)

Most crops are now beginning to grow rapidly Winter wheats are at varied growth stages with early drilled crops reaching GS 31 and the later drilled crops still in the mid to late tillering phase.

Septoria tritici is the most prevalent disease with all but the late winter drilled crops showing good levels of the disease.

With our wet climate, varietal resistance seems to count for very little at this stage of the season with Robigus showing as high a level of infection as more susceptible varieties.

Claire has continued to have mildew present, particularly in sheltered sites or where seed rates were too high. T0 sprays have been or are currently being applied with the first of the T1 sprays due to be applied around April 15.

Most winter barley crops are at GS 30 to 31, with T1 sprays going onto crops now. In general crops are looking well, with as much potential as last year – which proved locally to be the best winter barley season for several years.

Some early flowering winter rape crops are approaching full flower while later varieties such as ES Astrid are still budding up or just showing their first flowers.

Early drilled spring barley crops are now well emerged as are the broadleaved weeds and wildoats.

If recent wet weather continues rhynchosporium will soon become a problem in these crops although we are hoping the introduction of the variety Doyen with good rhyncho resistance will help relieve this pressure.

The appearance of plastic netted fields means that the planting of the Culinary Swede crop is now well under way in the area. This will continue for the next 2 months to give a spread of harvest dates next autumn and winter.

Return to Crop Watch homepage

5 April 2005

Tod Hunnisett – Chichester Crop Consultancy
(Click to contact)

Winter wheats have responded well to recent warm weather and nitrogen applications, with many crops approaching or at GS 31.

Some late Sept-drilled Solstice already has leaf 3 emerging, with a T1 fungicide recommendation gone in, there is the possibility of a long gap between T1 and T2. Most wheat crops are now receiving a first split of PGR (chlormequat) plus or minus T0 fungicide (probably chlorothalonil).

Soil N reserves range from 20kg/ha to 100 kg/ha with a significant number above average. N applications could be reduced by 50-60kg/ha in some well established, deep rooted crops. Some wheats are yet to receive their first N dose!

Winter barleys are approaching or at GS31, with T1 fungicides going on over the next week or so.

Disease levels are generally low. Any rampant over wintered mildew was fairly well frazzled by cold weather in early March, bringing it back to manageable levels. 18mm rain last week might wake up septoria levels in wheat, especially as they now start taking up nitrogen.

Spring crops have gone in fantastically. Spring barley is up and away and peas and spring beans are just peeking through. Last week‘s rain was perfect for residual herbicides.

Keep an eye on crops for pea and bean weevil, especially on the chalk. Thrips could become a problem on peas if weather turns colder this weekend.

Winter OSR: Extremely high levels of pollen beetle have been found on sites from Hampshire to Kent. Many crops are receiving a pyrethroid with their stem extension fungicide if the crops are not yet flowering.

Return to Crop Watch homepage

29 March 2005

Chris Bean – Technical Director, UAP
(Click to contact)

Having recovered from the effects of the late wintry blast, crops are now threatened by the prospects of drought with only 50% of winter rainfall across the region.


  • Crops are mostly at GS30 and are now beyond the ideal stage for chlormequat.

  • Malting barley should receive its final top dressing. Feed crops should receive the first main nitrogen dressing.

  • Disease levels are variable – mildew appears to have been cleaned up by the frost leaving net blotch and in some cases, rhynchosporium to control.

  • T1 fungicide treatments will need to be applied over the next 10 days.


  • Earlier emerged crops are at or close to leaf 4 emergence with septoria levels high in most varieties (except Robigus). High risk septoria varieties should be targeted over the next 7 – 10 days with a T0 fungicide. This will reduce disease levels at T1 (leaf 3 emergence) so making timing easier and potentially improve yields.

  • Add chlormequat at T0 for early growth manipulation.

  • First main top dressings should now be applied.


  • Crops with a high biomass and high lodging risk should be assessed for and treated now (at rapid stem extension) with a growth regulating fungicide.

Peas and Beans

  • Check emerging crops (and overwintered field beans) for signs of pea and bean weevil activity and treat accordingly.

Return to Crop Watch homepage

22 March 2005

Steve Cook – Hampshire Arable Systems
(Click to contact)

Winter wheat crops are looking very good, well tillered and most seem to have good yield potential. But of course, there is a long way to go and much that can go against us.

Septoria tritici is very evident in all early sown crops but stem bases are clean. Early sown crops are approaching GS30 and growth regulators will be applied soon.

Septoria protection (Chlorthalonil) will be added to most varieties. The cold weather has done us a favour by controlling Mildew.

Winter Barley crops are still flat on the ground and now look yellow. These will move quickly in next two weeks so keep an eye on them. Disease levels are low at the moment but watch out if wet weather returns.

Winter Oats look too good and may not need Nitrogen until May. Winter rape is extending well with no new disease, so fungicides can wait until mid-flowering. Spring Barley is now emerging.

One Surrey farm has just sown spring wheat on sand – this must be a sure sign of a drought to come!

Return to Crop Watch homepage

See more