Farmer Focus: T2 done but wild oats and bur chervil persist

Wow, that was some spring, I think we can say we are in the meteorological summer. We ended up having 320mm rain in 70 days, with 20 dry days in that period. Only four of those were consecutive.

The trees have just kicked into full leaf and the grass is growing rapidly. It’s amazing how a bit of sun lifts the spirit.

See also: Farmer focus: Good rotation is key for weed control in no-till system

About the author

Robin Aird
Arable Farmer Focus writer Robin Aird manages 1500ha on the north Wiltshire and Gloucestershire border, with a further 160ha on a contract farming agreement. Soils vary from gravel to clay with the majority silty clay loams. The diverse estate has Residential, commercial and events enterprises. He is Basis qualified and advises on other farming businesses.
Read more articles by Robin Aird

The winter wheat is looking well and has received its T2 of Univoq (fenpicoxamid + prothioconazole). It does have a fair splattering of wild oats through it and a nasty patch of bur chervil.

The wild oats are as a result of not using Horus (mesosulfuron + iodosulfuron).

Grassweeds were non-existent and deciding that the field with bur chervil wasn’t too bad and didn’t need Ally Max (metsulfuron+tribenuron) was wrong.

The hybrid rye received its ear spray, which is a bit of an overkill as it’s destined for whole crop, but after watching brown rust sweep through sprayed crops last year, I want to keep on top of any problems.

The spring wheat had its first application of digestate by the end of April and will have another dose this week. It is due its T1 shortly, which will be a cheap and cheerful mix of prothioconazole and tebuconazole.

We finally finished maize drilling. It has been a great effort to get land lifted, cultivated and drilled with the Tempo before a roll to conserve moisture.

The power harrow was needed in some heavier areas, but crops should catch up with the first plantings, which are now up in rows.

The grain markets are on the floor again, I did expect them to get below £180/t for harvest 2023 but I am surprised they are already sub-£170/t ex-farm.

With our grain strategy for selling we have reduced our risk, with a large percentage sold forward.

New crop fertiliser prices are due out any day and initial noises are that they are heading in the right direction. We just need all the other costs to fall back down to where they should be and life will be rosy again.

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