South: Pollen beetle ravages oilseed rape

Forward oilseed rape crops are starting to flower, but any crop still at tight green bud is being attacked by pollen beetle – at their highest levels for a decade. These crops are at a high risk from pod distortion and are a  priority for spraying with a pyrethroid when windy conditions relent. Weed control has been good and control of resistant blackgrass with propyzamide has been excellent.

Barley is looking much better this season. Recent winters have left the crop looking very pale and yellow but this season has seen a change and green crops are the norm. A plant growth regulator and fungicide are now ready for application at the T1 stage of the crop. Disease levels have been low but mildew can be found on the thickest crops.

Wheat growth has been steady but now with nitrogen and warmth, crops are starting to grow rapidly. Prioritising spraying has been difficult, but grassweed control has been at the top of most work lists.

Where this has been achieved a follow up treatment for T0 and a plant growth regulator has been applied. Disease levels remain low and high septoria tritici levels have relented in the dryer weather.

Spring bean drilling has now finished and early drillings are just emerging, with shoots already showing signs of pea and been weevil notching. Monitoring of these crops is neccesary as they may need a pyrethroid spray soon.

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