East: Excellent wheat disease control results so far

It now being summer, we’d be grateful if the sun could grace us with its presence.

Cheshire and Lancashire crops look good despite the weather, but there’s still a good while ’till harvest. Despite the cold spring, they have coped surprisingly well; barley crops withstood last week’s battering and wheats are heading.

Growers are on standby with T3 disease control as soon as ears are clear of the sheath. The key message is not to wait untill they are flowering; just get on early. Disease control so far has been excellent and it’s important to maintain the advantage through grain fill. Settled weather would be nice now, as high-yields often flow from a dry period during flowering.

Spring cereals have lapped up the rain, so most look to have real potential. Where required, ensure that growth regulators and herbicides are applied at the correct growth stage. Complete outstanding nitrogen doses as soon as possible while soil moisture lasts.

Hooray – spring beans have finally woken up and decided to grow; the early sowings are flowering and will require some disease protection this week, but don’t get carried away – remember what they’re worth, so keep it cheap. Weed control from the pre-emergence herbicides has mostly been very good, though a few bits did need patching-up with that agronomist’s bete noir; the ever-erratic bentazone.

Forage maize has looked miserable ever since emergence, but has livened-up at last – providing herbicides now don’t knock them too much. Weed control is that fine balance between barely enough and not so much that you knock seven bells out of them. Six weeks since sowing, there is a mass of weed to be taken out. Get on early, before competition stresses the crop, so most crops have now been treated while they are still only small. Adding magnesium in the cheap, but effective form of Epsom salts is not to be missed out.

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