North : Look out for aphids and potato blight

At last some decent sunshine. This should help the haymakers and will fill the pods and ears of combinable crops as well as bulking up potatoes which have bred well. However, the higher temperatures along with the thundery showers will no doubt increase the risk of late blight in potato crops.

Winter barley crops are starting to turn and most will require pre-harvest glyphosate as a management aid. On the subject of glyphosate, all spray operators must be extremely vigilant to prevent drift on to other crops, particularly potatoes and vegetables.

Spray drift can travel long distances even with light winds if the temperature is high. Hedges and trees do not guarantee protection for neighbouring fields. A drift suppressant should be considered and also remember to pay attention to wash out procedures when switching from desiccation to spraying sensitive crops.

All that is required for oilseed rape is a pod sealant along with the desiccant. The previous caution regarding spray drift and tank hygiene applies. Most wheat crops have had their head spray. Strategic foliar nutrition alongside wheat fungicide programmes has kept the crops clean and yield expectations are good.

As with wheat, spring barley crops are, in general, past the time for any further fungicide treatment. However, increased temperatures have resulted in a build up of aphid numbers. Spraying cereals may be justified up to milky ripe stage if crops have most of the heads infested with aphids, or if more than half of the flag leaves have aphid colonies.

Seven day interval potato blight programmes should be maintained using the most effective chemistry, as conditions for the disease are ideal. The rain in June has reduced the need for additional irrigation, however an aphicide should be included with the blight spray to minimise virus transmission. A mix of a systemic compound with a pyrethroid is preferable.

See more