North: OSR is looking healthy

Currently oilseed rape crops are romping on and look very fit. The most forward crops will receive a fungicide with growth regulatory properties.

Disease levels are very low so there is no pressure toapply an early spray. Weed control on the whole is good, despitethe dry conditions. Fields with a known grass weed issue will betargeted with either propyzamide or carbetamide as temperaturesdrop.

Pre-emergence weed control in cereals is a real mixed bag, withdry conditions meaning some programmes have been abandoned. Recentrain will no doubt lead to a large weed flush and a subsequentre-adjustment to our strategy. There is no doubt that this is whendoing your homework counts. Correct grass weed identification iscritical along with a good memory.

Soft and feed wheats dominate the drilled acreage, with themajor concern being the area sown with the varieties vulnerable toyellow rust. In relation to which a wet March and April would notbe appreciated.

Winter barley acreage has fallen slightly and will provide themost challenging for weed control. Losing our favourite standbyisoproturon is a real headache and is particularly challenging in anon-chlortoluron tolerant variety.

Maize is just being harvested and from a soil protection pointof view little soil structure damage is being done. The welcomerain has meant the driest fields can finally be drilled. Winterbeans are being ploughed in and due to the large thousand beanweight seed rates are robust.

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