North: Huge range in wheat growth stages

The late spring has taken its toll as many crops are lacking tillers and leafy growth, but that will now change after good rains and plenty of nitrogen. About 60mm rain across Cheshire and Lancashire last week means its all systems go. Thankfully, spring crops have now emerged well.

Wheats are all over the place in terms of growth stage; some have flag leaves out while others are stuck on a single node. Weed control with the complex grasskillers at T1 has been excellent.nitrogen fertiliser

Fungicide doses have had to be adapted as we are sticking to our three week rule. Some interim applications are being made with protectants while crops advance to the right growth stage for the main doses of T2 fungicide. Growth regulators will be essential to ensure crops stay standing, as there’s a lot of weather to go till harvest.

The best oilseed rape crops are definitely those stoked liberally with organic manures and sown early at very low seed rates. However, these do take more managing in autumn especially for insect pests and that shows up now. Crops are coming off flower and scletotinia applications have been made after the rain and with warmer soils. It looks like our goal of a single application has been achieved. Shut the gate.

Barleys are shooting well. Growth regulators have been very effective and we have been able to push nitrogen rates to where they need to be for yield. If they are still short of N, I’m not opposed to a late dose as they head when soils are moist. Most crops will receive another fungicide application, though being careful not to over-spend here given low crop values; but those with real potential are worth looking after.

Winter oats have finally woken up and gone into overdrive so its essential to keep in control of disease and height. Weeds have mostly been easy to control but keep on top of late cleavers as they move upwards in open canopies.

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