North: Coping with the wet so far

So long as it doesn’t get any wetter, we can cope with what’s come down so far; it’s only the regular saturation for us. I can’t wait for spring to come and the chance to get into some of these crops.

If winter does ever arrive we might start worrying, but so far they all look green and healthy – albeit full of disease. So far, that isn’t a problem because it’s been cool enough to keep it in check, so it’s really a matter of when it warms enough and when we can move.

For the time being, there’s nothing that we can do to get near sodden crops, so let’s hope that barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) hasn’t developed to any great extent. There will still be a requirement for aphid control in many crops, unless a proper cold spell does come, but be careful not to start foliar disease control yet. Disease control is all about programmes and there is no point starting too soon.

All the early-sown wheats were sprayed; only some of the late sowings were not.  Grassweed control has been good, but the more serious grassweeds – rye grasses and bromes – will need more attention in due course. We are thankful that blackgrass is not an issue over here.

Foliar disease levels are high, but mainly on older leaves. What is of concern is the level of stem base browning alluding to eyespot & fusarium; so it’s another season where prothioconazole will feature again strongly.

From a distance, barleys have yellowed, but that’s mainly older leaves. Central leaves are clean and green.  Most had adequate weed control, especially for grassweeds – so are in good shape. Many had some mildew control as well, so what we see at the present is of no concern. Some are fairly rank so growth regulators and careful nitrogen management are going to be very important.

Pigeons are now moving into oilseed rape, but a month’s grazing won’t do them much harm as they are so strong. Most weed control has been good – some volunteers & wild oats still need taking out and product choice might be tricky.  Some frost to clear out the flowering charlock would be nice.

See more