South: Spring is here at last

Soil temperatures have at last warmed up and conditions are now ideal for the application of Atlantis type products on wheat. Unfortunately the weather forecast between now and Easter doesn’t look good and spraying opportunities look few and far between.

The bulk of the wheat crop looks likely to hit T0 in the first week in April, hopefully the majority of outstanding blackgrass treatments will have gone on by then.

I will be using a chlorthalonil/ triazole/growth regulator mix on those varieties susceptible to yellow rust but mindful of cost on Xi 19, Claire, Alchemy, Humber, Gladiator, Scout and Panorama which are all resistant to yellow rust I will use straight Chlorthalonil.

I would still urge those held up by the weather to try not to tank mix fungicides and growth regulators if at all possible. Crops are relatively clean, little rust can be found and few crops are so thick and forward that PGR programmes need to start immediately.

It is probably better to apply the T0 fungicide/growth regulator mix a week late rather than risk compromising blackgrass control. 

Most spring drilling has now been, done with the exception of Linseed, and crops are now beginning too emerge and the recent rains should hopefully mean pre emergence treatments work well.

Forward rape crops are at the start of stem extension and flower buds are showing, fortunately the last of my Galera applications just made it on in time.

Most of my rape crops this year will benefit from canopy management with a growth regulatory fungicide at some point during stem extension. I am currently minded to apply this later on during stem extension at the late green/early yellow bud stage. this is a slight compromise but will at least also cover the early flowering period and protect against early sclerotinia infection. If this covers the first 10- 14 days of flowering then, unless it is a prolonged flowering period, one further spray specifically aimed at sclerotinia should suffice.

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