South: Continued dry weather stresses plants

Dry and windy weather has been relentless in the southeast.

Oilseed rape crops in the driest areas toward the east of theregion have needed irrigating for germination to take place andsome crops drilled into moisture have struggled to achieve three tofour true leaves.

Early-drilled, forward crops have suffered badly from leafminers even in insecticide-dressed seed.

The larvae burrow down into the leaf petiole and can result inabortion of infected leaves.

Drought stress is now evident in plants and rain is desperatelyneeded for plant survival.

Wheat drilling is well under way. First-drilled crops into dampsoils where some moisture was retained are at one to twoleaves.

Most recent drillings are into dusty, dry seed-beds but a goodtilth has been achieved.

Drilling continues and determining correct seed rates can bedifficult.

Rates in bone dry soils need to be kept up to at least 275seeds/sq m.

Drilling has stopped where a good tilth is impossible – drycobbles are the only result at the moment. Stale seed beds havebeen impossible to achieve and levels of grass weeds will behigh.

Slug numbers have remained low although heavy dews have led to asmall amount of damage.

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