Farmer Focus Arable: Yellow rust alert for Richard Beachell

Primary foci of yellow rust simmering away in the bottom of our Oakley wheat crops prompted the T1 treatments to be applied slightly earlier than usual and forced the addition of 0.3 litres/ha of Comet (pyraclostrobin) to the brew.

As I had omitted a T0 and given the favourable dry, cool weather, it was too risky to delay any longer.

It is strange that, although it is rated 6 for rust on the Recommended List, Oakley has a clear weakness. Cordiale has shown no signs of it and received a Proline/Bravo (prothioconazole/chlorothalonil) mix at T1 to control mainly septoria.

Travelling through crops has been easy so far, thanks to April’s dry weather. Rowcrop wheels have been put on earlier than usual, which should reduce the number of green corns at harvest.

A sclerotinia spray has also been applied to the oilseed rape (Proline at 0.6 litres/ha) when the first petals started to fall. I have used the new TAG forecasting method to determine the timing.

We have had a real concentrated clean up of field perimeters this year to try to stop weed encroachment, particularly brome, from coming in from the 2m margins. A quarter boom Atlantis (iodosulfuron-methyl-sodium + mesosulfuron methyl) spray and a narrow sterile strip should reduce time spent roguing and ease combining.

A total of 190kg/ha of nitrogen has been applied to the Oakley winter wheat, about 15-20kg/ha less than in previous years. Cordiale will receive its final main dose at flag leaf emergence in the hope that we can achieve a milling sample.

My SPS forms have been completed and delivered by hand to the RPA. It was very straightforward and the only dilemma I had was whether to tick the sterling or euro box for receiving my payment.

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