North: Growth stage race a no-show

The thirty millimetres of rain that many places got on Friday, although being an irritant to potato planters, has fairly freshened up both winter and spring sown cereals. Having said that, despite the weather in the past few weeks being a big improvement, soil and air temperatures have remained lower than normal. The net result being that the much predicted bolt through the growth stages has so far failed to materialise.

There is a considerable range of growth stages in winter cereals, particularly in wheat. As a result, this will not be a season for “roadside agronomy”. Blanket recommendations are unlikely to be the norm and sprayer operators will undoubtedly get frustrated by requests for numerous “part tank fills”.

As foliar diseases in winter wheat continue to be at a very low level, there may be a temptation to miss out the T0 spray. This will depend on the crop growth stage. Backward crops will require much care and attention to fulfil their potential. This should include an early low cost fungicide along with some foliar nutrition.

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