East: Crop nutrition is the key this spring

Most of the wheat bulb fly egg hatch sprays were applied on my winter cereals last week.  It is interesting to note that at Dow Agroscience’s pest watch north Lincs site, egg hatch was at 50% last week.  This means that crops still being drilled into fields at risk should have a wheat bulb fly seed treatment.

I am seeing fresh slug damage on cereals and at the moment I am not advising pellets. However, this could soon change as temperatures rise particularly if the plant populations are low.  When we get drilling spring cereals we must make sure the slug population is closely monitored and appropriate action taken

Seed-bed hygiene is again a must this spring. We must not miss any opportunities to remove weeds with glyphosate pre drilling.

The winter cereals on light land are showing manganese deficiency.  This is showing up worse than previous years as most crops never received an autumn treatment.  Treatment now is a priority.  If the opportunity arises rolling such crops will be beneficial. 

The recent N-min results have showed just what we expected in most cases.  The soil nitrogen supply this year is generally going to be lower than we have seen for a while, which ties in nicely with the excess winter figures that ADAS have just published. Have a word with your FACTS advisor to discuss the practical implications for your nitrogen planning.


Autumn residual herbicides have generally done a good job in the cereal crops this year.  This is due to a combination of late drilling and enough rainfall to activate the chemistry. 


The crops that have yet to receive a herbicide are going to be challenging, particularly where there is iodosulfuron-mesosulfuron resistant issues.  If the growth stage of the crop allows prosulfocarb can be a useful mixer product, and if we are past GS21 clodinafop could be added to the mix.  Always check that you have manufacturer backing for your mix and the crop is robust enough. 


If you have blackgrass in your winter barley we have very few products with contact activity.  I have found that pinoxaden will work in cooler conditions.  Such products need applying while the weeds are small.


Oilseed rape crops are generally very small with most having a GAI of less than 0.5, so again nutrition is key, and keep an eye on phoma.  Apply a fungicide if the crop is at threshold. 


Smaller crops are far more at risk than the large crops we have had the last few springs.  There is an opportunity to apply a trace element including phosphite at the same time.


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