Farmer Focus: Philip Reck, April column

Did anyone else ever notice that as soon as you finish spraying the weather settles down, winds abate and temperatures rise?

You tell yourself that the day would be ideal for spraying, and yet no spraying needs be done.

It’s nice to get a break from the job, though, even if only for a few days.The weather has not been particularly wet – rainfall has been average for March – but cold nights and windy, blustery days with showers have made spraying particularly difficult.

Even so all crops have received their first sprays and are looking good.

Our Retriever winter barley has really benefited from the nitrogen and sulphur it received in March.

The sprayer will be back in the field before the second week of April applying the crop’s first fungicide. It will be a Proline (prothioconazole) + Jenton (fenpropimorph and pyraclostrobin) + Bravo (chlorothalonil) mix to control mildew and rhynchosporium.

Winter wheat is at GS 31 and will receive its T0 in the second week of April.

I can only hope that the weather relents and the crop gets sprayed at the right timing. If it is treated too early septoria control is likely to be compromised by longer spray intervals later on.

Capalo (epoxiconazole + fenpropimorph + metrafenone) to start the septoria control programme will add control of mildew and eyespot.

I have just hitched the 6m Vaderstad Topdown to our Fendt 936 in the hope of starting cultivations for the 200 acres of Frontier spring barley I have to sow.

The ground is still wet after recent heavy rain, but I have often found that some cultivation is required to get the ground to dry out fully.

One pass should be all that is needed before sowing at 150kg/ha.

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