More than 100 mm of August rain across much of my patch didn’t exactly make for an easy harvest. But it has given us another promising start to the new cropping season, with oilseed rape plantings well up on previous years.
Most of our rape is now in and growing away. We grow a significant proportion of vigorous hybrids like DK ExPower and Excalibur which I’m comfortable to sow up to the third week of September.
Although slugs are becoming more evident, rapid crop development means a single well-timed application of pellets should be enough to see most crops safely through to the two to three true leaf stage. We’re using higher quality pellets with low metaldehyde loadings wherever possible and, for particularly high-risk areas where a follow up is required, ferric phosphate, which SMART Farming trials have shown to be highly effective and compliant with the metaldehyde stewardship guidelines.
We’ll be getting in with our post-ems early where necessary. Preventing yield losses from competition continues to be our first priority, and the past few seasons have made us acutely aware of how limited spring spraying opportunities can be.