East: Knot grass is key concern in sugar beet crops this year

As predicted the flag leaf in winter wheat crops is going to emerge within a few days of a “normal” season. This is already happening with the early varieties such as Gallant.

T1 timings were generally delayed because of the poor weather so the gap between applications is going to less than usual. Rainfall events have been frequent recently with up to 60mm of rain on some farms this in the last two weeks, therefore septoria is the greatest threat at present.

T2 application onto the flag leaf will need to be robust. Most wheat crops will be receiving one of the modern SDHI chemicals with a robust rate of a septoria active triazole.

The temptation to wait for the ear to emerge, and combine T2 and T3 applications will be great with some growers. I would suggest this is a high risk strategy. We know from recent experience the damage that can be caused by septoria and fusarium, so the strategy should be to target both these diseases at the correct timing.

The late Atlantis timing this year has led to a number of broad-leaved weeds being suppressed. This meant they could not be treated as part of the T1 fungicide timing so the window of opportunity is now limited to tackle any remaining broad leaved weeds and should not be missed.

The last week has been spent walking spring crops. Spring wild oats in my spring barley are not as prolific as the last few years, but there are still significant numbers in some fields.

Broad-leaved weed sprays on spring cereals are well under way. SU chemistry is the backbone of the treatment, but I always include another chemical group where ever possible as an anti-resistance strategy. It is also worth noting that all SU approvals with spring cereals should be checked, there are many subtle differences.

Cereals are responding well to trace elements, tissue testing and historical data being the driver for such applications.
The schlerotinia sprays in OSR are at all stages of progress due to the wide variation in crop development. OSR crops are receiving a routine treatment of magnesium with the flowering spray.

Knot grass is my major concern in sugar beet crops this year, Many crops had establishment issues, and the first herbicide sprays have generally been delayed, which has led to bigger weeds. With good growing conditions and a well-timed program, control should still be achievable.

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