North: Drilling campaign gains momentum

Harvest is more or less over. We’ve had some deluges of rain in the past week and we will have to see how this has affected quality in the later-harvested crops

Now that fields are cleared the focus is very much on establishing next years cereal crop. Seed-beds have been tremendous so far, but again after the wet weather they may require a bit more patience.

I am seeing a lot of growers investing in seed treatments for disease and pest control as the benefits become more accepted. Crops that have been drilled are emerging really quickly as soils have sufficient moisture and are relatively warm.

Unlike other parts of the country the shortage of flufenacet products isn’t as major a problem as we have other options available as our targets are mainly meadow grass and broadleaved weeds. We have saved our flufenacet products for the fields with history of brome and blackgrass and will be going early post-emergence on other fields.

We will base our recommendations around pendimethalin and picolinafen, diflufenican and chlortoluron and Lexus (flupyrsulfuron-methyl). We will mix and match these according to weed targets, variety tolerance and timing.

Slug pressure is minimal, mainly due to cultural controls so pelleting has been minimal. Hopefully, this will reduce metaldehyde spikes in water, but as weather has changed and seed-beds may not be as good we need to be on our guard.

Oilseed rape crops are covering the ground well and as there has been sufficient moisture to activate herbicides weed control has been effective. This moisture has also brought a flush of volunteers which we have controlled successfully.

Drilling second wheats and first wheats after potatoes, grass and beans will be the main focus this week, so hopefully the weather will hold.


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