East: A spring is back in the step

The amount of spring cropping this year is keeping us walking! Just as well, with hog roast season in full swing. The recovery of many of the crops recently has put a spring back into the step, and it is a far more pleasant feeling on farm again.

Later drilled spring beans are receiving their fungicides treatments. Rusts and chocolate spot are the main targets. This treatment is generally coinciding with bruchid beetle sprays.

The loss of Folio Gold (chlorothalonil + matalaxyl-M) for downy mildew control is concentrating our minds, and everything nutritionally is being done to keep the crop healthy and prevent the disease. It is reassuring that we do have one brand of metalaxyl-M available under an EAMU should the need to eradicate downy mildew arise.

Spring beans have been responding well to recently applied trace elements and in general look well, if the ground they were drilled into is not compacted.

Spring barleys will be receiving their T2 sprays over the next few days; these will be based on either prothioconazole or isopyrazam. Manganese or magnesium will also be added, which one will depend on the soil type and field history.

Most wheat crops are now at the ears fully emerged stage, and if we are targeting fusarium, the T3 should be applied just prior to flowering. If fusarium is not the main target, the T3 will be applied approximately 3 weeks after the T2. Most T3 application will be based on prothioconzole or tebuconazole.  With most wheat varieties susceptible to brown rust I will not recommend straight prothioconazole.  Azoxystrobin or tebuconazole both make good partner products and have good activity on brown rust.

Tissue test results and field inspections have shown a larger-than-normal magnesium deficiency in the wheat crops at present. Zinc deficiency is also present. These issues can be addressed with the T3 application. Some wheat crops will have had magnesium applied three times this season.

Winter oilseed rape crops have been a pleasant surprise in the last few weeks, with many of the poorer crops making a comeback. Most crops that were nearly written off are looking presentable again. Although the yields are going to be below average, they will certainly be worth harvesting. We will need to be mindful of the scchlerotinia risk with these later maturing crops, and I am still treating a few fields that will be flowering for a while.

Spring oats are receiving a flag leaf spray at present. The genetic improvements of this crop over recent years have been vast, in both yield and agronomic characteristics. It is interesting that last year I looked after 12ha of spring oats and this year it is near 120ha.  Oats are good break and as people gain experience of this crop I can see the area increasing over the years, but beware volunteer spring oats  – they do take more killing than wild oats!

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