South: Dry seedbeds mean slow progress for wheat

Wheat was drilled deep into very dry seed-beds which hasresulted in very slow germination. There has been no opportunityfor a stale seedbed and grassweed pressure is veryhigh.

Most fields have had a pre-emergence herbicide for grassweedcontrol but due to very dry and warm soils, good control has beendifficult.

Now soil conditions are warm and moist soAtlantis (mesosulfuron + iodosulfuron) and adjuvant,Biopower are being recommended. Slug levels are lower than lastyear but still need close monitoring.

The majority of oilseed rape crops are now looking stronger atfour to six true leaves. Slug attack has remained low and nitrogenhas been applied to seed-beds which has helped growth. Leaf minorcan still be found on older leaves of early-drilled rape, but newerleaves and later drilled crops are fine. Because of the very dryweather Phoma has been difficult to find. But pressure is startingto increase and close monitoring is advised. Flushes of difficultblackgrass will need to be addressed soon when soils become wetterand cooler. Pigeons are present in other crops but yet to be aproblem in rape.

Like the wheat, barley has been slow to emerge. With feweractives available, grassweed control in barley is extremelydifficult. The most reliable approach is to use pre-emergence orearly post-emergence applications. This job must take priority ascontact grassweed products are very limited.

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