Isn’t it great the difference a spell of settled weather can make? Visits to Cereals and the Continent have confirmed my feeling that we, in central Scotland, have been treated less harshly by the weather than many regions.
The gates are now closed on winter barley and winter oilseed rape fields and both crops are looking reasonable, although not barn bursting. Levels of disease have been relatively low and it has been fairly easy to keep the crops clean.
Winter wheats appear to have benefitted from the slow growing, cold spring into summer period. They have not raced through the growth stages, have tillered well and in most cases have laid down plenty of grain sites.
Keeping them free of disease till harvest ought to pay dividends. A robust, septoria controlling triazole combined with chlorothalonil will reduce the disease risk and will maximise grain fill. Be aware of timing and total dose rate restrictions with chlorothalonil.
Aphid levels at the local monitoring site are low and hopefully beneficial insects will keep aphid numbers below the level that one would contemplate spraying.
Disease levels in spring barleys, as with the other cereals, have remained pleasingly low. The Scottish Rural College (SRUC) Ramularia forecast would suggest that the risk for this season is likely to be medium to low depending on location. Leaf wetness at stem extension is the key to colonisation of the upper reaches of the plant.
However, dew may be able to provide enough moisture for this feature in the absence of rain. If using an SDHI fungicide in conjunction with chlorothalonil, ensure that you have a 50% dose of triazole in the mix to reduce the resistance pressure on this valuable group of actives. Check for latest timings of individual products and make sure that they are OK with your end user.