Autumn sown cereals at full ear emergence are looking neat and tidy with the potential to yield well. Ideal conditions during grain fill are moderate temperatures complimented by adequate moisture. My concern is the weather seems settled and lighter land cereals in particular could do with rain. Barley on the lighter land is already “on the turn” and marching towards harvest.
Cool soil conditions during May have delayed pupation of orange wheat blossom midge (OWBM). During the wheat’s susceptible stages adult catches in pheromone traps have been low, leading me to think that most September/October drilled wheats will escape midge infestation. However, don’t take my word for it! Monitor your susceptible varieties from ear emergence until the end of flowering. The main flush of adult midge could coincide with heading of later autumn and spring drilled wheat and susceptible varieties may be at risk.
In cereals and pulses aphid pests are low, but keep monitoring as colonies could build quickly if temperatures warm. In peas also check crops for pea moth and pea midge. In pulses, if a second fungicide is outstanding, an additional aphicide can be added if required.
In beans, bruchid control offers another challenge; alerts will occur if maximum daily temperatures for two consecutive days reach 20C as pods develop – why not sign up for PGRO/Syngaenta “Bruchid Cast”? Also monitor beans for downy mildew, particularly if they are spring sown and thick. Rust will also be encouraged by warmer temperatures.
Despite a cool, dry March and an April with average rainfall, moderate septoria pressure has been apparent in untreated crops. On farm canopies are clean as crops have responded to well-timed, appropriate programmes. On stronger land, T3 sprays (at full ear emergence and close to flowering) will prove to be a worthwhile investment as foliar disease pressure builds in warmer conditions. On lighter or drought prone land, a lower investment at T3 should be considered as commodity prices remain low. A dry spell during flowering will reduce the risk of fusarium ear blight.
For milling wheat’s, high yield potential will increase the need for a top up of foliar nitrogen to achieve quality specifications, this can be applied until milky ripe.
Many of you will be visiting trials demonstrations during the next month. Use this time to review and challenge your own rotations, variety selection and grassweed strategies. Lower commodity prices will encourage growers to look for opportunities to chase a premium.