South: Remembering why God gave me legs!

Having been asked to hang a rope banger out whilst on my rounds, as I was driving up the well-worn tramline to the Official Rope Banger Stick, I suddenly thought “Next time I come round I won’t be able to drive up this tramline.” At long last. So that’s the end of I.C.M. (In-Car Monitoring) in that oilseed rape crop. I’d forgotten why God gave me legs.

I saw an early-drilled crop of rape last week that had been severely, but evenly grazed by pigeons. It was well into stem extension and recovery. It looked fantastic. Free of weeds and diseases, it’ll probably end up about 18 inches tall with a canopy like a billiard table and, having had a decent dose of nitrogen, has every chance of yielding as well as any other year.

It merely strengthened my resolve to make sure next year as much rape as possible goes in before 15th August. If that increases the risk of verticillium just stretch the gap between rape crops.

Fields have turned from brown to green – “What’s this funny green stuff coming up in rows?” –  and the earlier drilled crops with weeds emerging have had herbicides now the crop and weeds are actively growing.

These have largely been based around Atlantis (iodopsulfuron + mesosulfuron) at various rates. Not ideal from a resistance point of view, but our choice has been severely restricted by the ridiculous cut-off date of end February for the chlorotoluron based products and similarly with flufenacet products for late spring use in winter cereals.

T0 fungicide recommendations where justified (very few) have gone in. The odd winter barley crop is “normal” enough to have had a T1 fungicide and PGR ticket. Spring cereals are just coming through and getting nitrogen. Spring beans are up and are being monitored for pea and bean weevil. Linseed and spring rape are going in this week. Life is happening again.

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