South: Field drains and rivers running well

As I write we have more rain falling onto already saturated soil, field drains and rivers are running well locally there has been small amounts of flooding, but nearly to the extent of last year. October this year had just over 120mm of rain, which is only 40mm less than last 2012, but it has fallen onto land that was dryish and in far better condition than it was in 2012.

Nearly all planned autumn crops are in the ground and up, just a few behind maize or linseed are left to do. Don’t force it just because it’s mid-November. If conditions and seed-beds aren’t good then leave seed in the bag for next year and either fallow land or put in a spring crop.

Cereal crops are mostly at various levels of tillering. The exceptions being the later drilled crops which are at 2-3 leaf stage. Stale seed-beds and (slightly) delayed drilling mean that blackgrass and brome levels are lower than normally expected. Couple this will good seed-beds and moisture to activate pre-emergence herbicides and it seems that autumn applications of Atlantis (iodosulfuron + mesosulfuron), Unite (flupyrsulfuron + pyroxsulam) and Broadway Star (florasulam + pyroxulam) are less critical than usual. There are areas that have had or are about to get them, but it’s not as wide spread as first expected. What is very noticeable is the difference in grassweed levels in crops where one, two or three stale seed-bed glyphosate applications were done. Where timing and weather conditions allowed that extra pass before the drilling there is a lot less grassweeds coming up in crop.

Oilseed rape crops are still growing on well, we could do with some frosts to stop them in there tracks. The most forward crops are between welly and knee high and have mopped up 80+ Kg N. Phoma levels are still fairly low, especially on more resistant varieties, so many crops will be getting phoma sprays combined with Kerb (propyzamide) or Crawler (carbetamide) applications. Hopefully with crops so well established, our feathered friends will find it difficult to land, so are less likely to cause much damage. They also have more crop to spread over so I don’t envisage the pigeon issues we had last year.

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