Eventually it will happen, but it seems to be taking forever. Just when will these crops look something like crops with some potential to yield? They are still tillering and need to carry on doing so as long as possible.
We have a huge variation in crop development and growth stages – some wheats are still a wiry mess, sprawled out on the ground, while a few are 40cm tall with a full node and a second threatening. “Average” crops are now approaching the end of tillering, GS30, but not yet at first node. Barleys are a little ahead of that, mainly at first node, GS31.
Temperatures in the last fortnight have been good enough for herbicide applications and the majority of wild oats, ryegrasses and bromes are now beginning their steady funeral march. Crops with low grassweed pressure will be treated as part of the T1. That should start this week on forward crops but not while its so cold, so they will all be pushed into next week. For now, its another cold week and feeble growth rates as a result. Get up to speed with nitrogen applications instead.
Disease is obvious in all wheat crops; mainly septoria, but also yellow rust – especially in Reflection and Kielder. Make sure that treatments will knock-out rusts effectively, although T1 treatments should all have the power to see them off properly.
Cool conditions have held septoria in-check so far, but expect to see it develop as it warms up – your T1 treatments must be able to deliver a serious blow to septoria for you to have control of this most-important disease as we approach May and its rapid growth phase.
Oilseed rape is in flower at long last – flowers cover a multitude of sins. Disease levels are mostly low and we’ll be holding off with sclerotinia control as long into flowering as we can – trying to get away with just one application, which will mostly be prothioconazole.
Boron deficiency is obvious in any crops which haven’t received the nutrient, so make sure you correct this at the first opportunity when next through the crop. Make sure that the boron product used actually has a decent amount of the nutrient – some are as weak as British Rail coffee.