North: Two-spray strategy for sclerotinia

Despite all crops needing a bit of moisture they are moving quickly through growth stages. Now that wind has dropped we have managed to get outstanding fertiliser and spraying jobs done ready for the next round.

Winter wheat is at or around GS30 and with some approaching GS31 any main doses of nitrogen should go on now to ensure availability of nitrogen when moisture comes. As we approach the final leaf three T1 timing, do not be tempted to cut back rates of fungicide as there are some reports of yellow rust creeping in to Oakley and there is a lot of latent septoria lying on lower leaves.

As we approach the timing where we are protecting the yield building leaves, strong triazoles will need to be used. Our recommendations are based around epoxiconazole on rust susceptible varieties, including pyraclostrobin into the most susceptible varieties as a lot of these crops will receive SDHI chemistry at the T2 timing. The T1 timing will see some more plant growth regulator included based around chlormequat and Moddus (trinexapac-ethyl).

Winter barley is now at GS32/33 and looks extremely well now that it has got away from manganese and nitrogen deficiency problems. There has been sufficient leaf wetness to allow rhynchosporium to develop, but the T1 included prothioconazole to get on top of problem.

As the crops are moving so quickly a decision will need to be made on any further PGR requirements before awns emerge. Spring barley drilling is now almost complete and we have some crops approaching tillering. As usual, some crops are turning obscure colours, but a decent soak will kick them on and give us a weed flush so we can get the herbicide and manganese out of the way before crops meet in the rows.

Oilseed rape is now starting to flower so any pollen beetle issues should be over once the crop is in flower, but with numbers so high, anyone growing spring oilseed rape should be on guard.

Now the eternal guessing game starts as to timing of the flower spray with and with rape values where they are, a lot of growers are talking about a two-spray strategy for sclerotinia. We will probably base our strategy around either boscalid or a strobilurin, as we saw some excellent results using picoxystrobin last season. We will then see how weather patterns develop and monitor length of flowering, maybe going in later if necessary.

As always at this time of year, there is plenty going on, but a bit of moisture would really help crops.

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