East: Typical English spring weather returns

Alas, the rains have started as the hose pipe ban begins! The weather forecast will be closely monitored over the coming weeks, as this will dictate the direction of forth-coming fungicide programs.

At present wheat crops have generally had a modest amount of PGR (trinexapac-ethyl + chlormequat) in with a T0, with the view of following on with a further PGR application at T1.  With the many farmers applying more nitrogen early (in fear of a drought), the second PGR application may have to be robust.

Forward wheats are approaching growth stage 32, so T1 fungicides will begin within 7 days. Generally second wheat programs will be based on a prothioconazole or boscalid product, with chlorothalonil or strob added where appropriate. High potential wheat crops may receive an SDHI at T1, particularly if the weather increases disease pressure. Whatever happens, the Oakley will be sprayed every 3-4 weeks as it is a particularly susceptible variety to rust.

Barley crops will be receiving their T1 within the next 10 days, we will also be treating broad leaved weeds at the same time. This year we are spoilt for choice with a number of new barley products being available. The SDHI’s are very good value for money this year, so are likely to be used.

Oilseed rape crops have developed dramatically in April.  The early schlerotinia sprays have started to be applied, azoxystrobin with triazole or boscalid are preferred products.  These will be followed 3 weeks later with a prothioconazole based product. With the risk period being so long and the high value of the crop, a one spray program is insufficient. The first spray may also include magnesium, as many of the tissue tests have highlighted a deficiency. Tissue testing has proved its worth this season, with many crops improving in appearance following the required trace element application as a result of identifying specific mineral deficiencies.

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