East: Pulses causing agronomic challenges

During grain fill we are hoping for moderate temperatures to compliment the recent rains to maximise yield potential. Wheat ear sprays are being applied with treatments that maintain the season’s theme of being robust and well-timed. This season they promise great value for both foliar diseases and fusarium control.

High septoria and yellow rust pressure continues as warming temperatures and moist conditions intensify the cycling of these diseases. Spray misses and trial plots are also starting to demonstrate clear differences between the strength of treatments and timings.

For milling wheats, high yield potential will increase the need for a top up of foliar nitrogen to achieve quality specifications and this can be applied until milky ripe.

Thankfully, this season most wheats have escaped orange wheat blossom midge (OWBM) infestation, but keep monitoring late wheat after roots, which could be at risk from a later flush. Summer aphids in cereals and pulses are building early following the mild winter and warm spring and populations seem unperturbed by the recent heavy rain.

Pulses are also presenting a few late season agronomic challenges. Bruchid alerts have occurred as maximum daily temperatures for two consecutive days reached 20C as pods develop. Downy mildew pressure is high in beans, even on new growth in winter beans, particularly if they are thick. Chocolate spot will also be encouraged by overcast, humid weather.

Many of you will be visiting trials demonstrations during the next month. This year these events should show interesting treatment differences, provoking good discussion. Use this time to review and challenge your own variety selection and grassweed strategies. Most farmers are battling blackgrass at some level and in my view, control starts with good soil management and rotation, then we can maximise the efficacy of existing chemistry.

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