The vast majority of oilseed rape and cereals crops look really well. The exception has been patchy emergence of cereals on the heavier land but these areas are now beginning to fill in.
In wheat attention now turns to using Atlantis (mesosulfuron-methyl and iodosulfuron-methyl) plus a residual partner when the blackgrass has 1-3 leaves. This timing is proving to be tricky where crop emergence has been patchy as some parts of the field are ready to apply Atlantis now and in other areas the crop has only just emerged.
In fields where sterile brome is a problem it would be best to apply herbicides such as Broadway Star (pyroxsulam + florasulam) in the autumn rather than spring to gain best control. In terms of broad-leaved weed control oilseed rape volunteers have grown quite large due to the warm weather and volunteer bean populations are high due to problems harvesting due to low pod set. These will be controlled with more contact-acting herbicides.
Fields prone to manganese deficiency in cereals are being treated and it is always best to try and apply manganese before seeing any visual symptoms.
Slug activity has increased slightly so be on the lookout for grain hollowing or leaf shredding on later-drilled crops. Wheat that has yet to be drilled after root crops could now warrant a seed dressing such as Austral Plus that will help against potential wheat bulb fly damage.
In oilseed rape the levels of phoma currently remain well below the 10% of plants infected before needing to treat with a fungicide. However, phoma levels are expected to increase soon and a fungicide which also has activity against light leaf spot will be chosen.
Residual herbicides such as propyzamide or carbetamide will soon be applied to control grass weeds such as blackgrass. On some very thick crops it will be difficult to get enough herbicide through the canopy to reach the grass weeds so the timing may have to be delayed until frosts have opened up the crop canopy.