East: April showers set a challenge for crop management

Welcome rainfall has washed in the bulk of applied nitrogen and so thick, well-tillered winter cereals will need careful management with late season PGRs to avoid lodging. 

Growers have struggled to snatch T1 spray opportunities whilst rain splash has increased the risk of wet weather diseases such as Septoria tritici, eyespot, rhynchosporium and net blotch.  Observations in untreated, susceptible wheats suggest that yellow rust development continues. 

Spray timings must be kept tight (at T1 we are aiming to protect emerging leaf 3), if timings are delayed due to “catchy weather” fungicide applications should include a robust dose of effective triazole with added strobilurin for improved rust control.  Mildew infection is low due to the cold weather but don’t allow the disease to establish in areas or varieties with a known risk.


Most rapeseed crops have received an initial application to prevent sclerotinia infection.  Disease forecasts suggest that while recent temperatures have been too cool in initiate infection, the disease risk will become high as temperatures warm during early petal fall.

Check pulse crops for continuing damage from thrips and the pea and bean weevil. In beans the first fungicide treatment should be applied at early flowering. Many winter beans are showing early chocolate spot symptoms which will require timely treatment.  

In spring crops moist conditions should enable good results from early herbicides.  For peas and beans the limited post emergence options are expensive so fingers crossed!

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