North: Rain gauge back in action

The rain gauge has been the most redundant tool for weeks on end, but in the last week it has been recording some long awaited rainfall which has arrived just in time. Winter wheat crops look well and with leaf three now emerging attention now moves to the T1 fungicide timing. Yellow rust pressure has eased, but not gone away, on susceptible varieties such as Oakley. 

Until the rains of the past week Septoria tritici has largely been forgotten with the prolonged dry weather. However, rain will have splashed Septoria tritici spores on to new leaf growth, so the T1 fungicide mix needs to factor in sufficient eradicant activity. 

Eyespot lesions are easy found on many crops, so products including boscalid or higher rates of prothioconazole will be used where levels are high. Take-all patches are beginning to appear in some second/third wheat crops which is to be expected, due to many fields being sown earlier than usual, combined with a mild winter.

Winter oats generally look well and although mildew is obvious in most crops, the frosts in the past month have kept levels low enough for now. The T1 fungicide will be due soon when the crop reaches GS32, so the mildew can be controlled then with products containing either fenpropimorph, metrafenone or proquinazid.   

Oilseed rape crops are now beginning to flower so fungicides for sclerotinia control will soon be required. Local weather data will be used to monitor the daily average temperatures, which will provide a guide as to when to target this fungicide timing. As spring oilseed rape crops emerge, be on the lookout for flea beetle damage once seed dressings have worn off and apply an insecticide if damage is threatening plant survival.

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