North: Foul weather continues to disrupt sprayer activity

The April weather scenario of “four seasons in one day” has many crops wondering if they are “coming or going”, and has left most carefully planned spray programmes in disarray. Spring Barleys, with the exception of those lying in water have grown on well, as have the weeds.

Getting a herbicide on before the weeds and the crop canopy get too big will soon become a priority. Whilst care needs to be taken with stressed crops the inclusion of a fungicide and a foliar tonic with the weed-killer, it will reduce the pressure on available sprayer time.


Flowering in Oilseed Rape looks like being extended, however some petals are being blown/washed off and will be sticking due to the damp conditions. The only saving grace being that the cold weather will not be so conducive to sclerotinia infection yet. Any crops sprayed by mid flower may require a second spray if flowering proves to be a drawn out affair. Products with activity against alternaria will be worth including in the second spray.

Septoria is going to be the disease of the season in winter wheat. Some T1 sprays may have been applied, but as the days pass the need for more robust rates of triazole will increase for those crops not yet sprayed.

Although wheats are not looking particularly lush just now, the presence of so much moisture may mean that growth regulator strategies should be re-appraised. Check plant growth stages and chlormequat labels to ensure that applications may still be made. There are ethephon based products for later application. Do not compromise T2 spray timings even if T1 sprays have been delayed.


Awns are now appearing in winter barleys. Any crops not recently sprayed will require treatment for rhynchosporium and ramularia. An SDHI plus triazole with the possible inclusion of chlorothalonil will be sufficient. The problem will be deciding which spray job is the most pressing!

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