South: Pigeons leave OSR crops damaged

Continuous cold wet weather and low soil temperatures leftoilseed rapes crops damaged by pigeons looking very poor andbackward.

Two weeks of warmer weather has allowed nitrogen/sulphurfertiliser applications to be made which will help promotegrowth.

Autumn fungicides to control phoma have been successful andlevels of the disease remain low.

It’s now too late to apply propyzamide to rape but this can bereplaced with carbetamide up to the end of February.

Levels of charlock vary, with some hit hard by frosts. Otherstronger plants will need controlling with bifenox (SOLAneeded).

Any cleavers, mayweeds and thistles can still be sprayed beforecrop canopy prevents penetration, or green buds start to show. Thisjob must take priority because time is running out as soilconditions begin to improve.

Forward-first wheats are approaching growth stage 30. Mildewlevels are low and rust pustules difficult to detect, but Septoriatritici is rife. A T0 spray will need to be applied, weatherpermitting, in the next seven to 14 days, based around a strongseptoria fungicide.

Autumn-applied residuals have worked well, but where blackgrassis the main problem an Atlantis application is now needed as soiltemperatures begin to rise.

Where thin patches have appeared in fields, keep looking out forslug activity as temperatures increase.

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