East: Decisions still to be made on blackgrass herbicides

Rain in early November and some perfect spraying conditions subsequently have resulted in rapid blackgrass emergence in wheats and a considerable amount of Atlantis/Horus (iodosulfuron + mesosulfuron) being applied. Soil moisture has also activated the residuals to the extent that the later sown wheats contain some sick looking blackgrass.

There is still some follow up Atlantis/Horus to be applied and while conditions remain suitable, with soil temperatures still around 10C, it will be sprayed if conditions allow. In some cases larger and more difficult blackgrass warrants the addition of a contact + residual partner.

Wheat crops are a mixed bag with some very lush crops plastered in mildew and some of the earlier drilled crops still struggling to emerge.  Barley tends to respond to an autumn fungicide in such circumstances more than wheat, but there has been some mildewicide applied to struggling wheats especially on lighter and chalkier soils.

Colder weather would help not only the mildew situation, but also create better conditions for oilseed rape herbicides. Most crops are up to date with fungicide and insecticide and we are now waiting for suitable conditions to apply bifenox where needed. 

Although applications of propyzamide/carbetamide have been going onto some oilseed rape crops, we are only just approaching ideal conditions for them to work well.  In most cases there will not be a contact element in the tank so that we can spray onto wet leaves and run product off the leaf of some very large canopies and onto the soil.

In some cases we will wait for frosty weather to open up these canopies before spraying.  Many of the earlier drilled rape crops particularly are looking very short of nutrients. Tissue analysis confirms that most nutrients are deficient including nitrogen. This is presumably due to efficient scavenging of the available nutrients by large crops which are still trying to grow in comparatively mild conditions and have now run out of food. Foliar applied nutrient mixtures help to improve the look of these rape crops and will make them healthier in readiness for colder winter weather.

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