South: Thin oilseed rape crops make recovery

Crops have responded very well to the spring weather that arrived a couple of weeks ago.  Winter barley is now ear emerged and much of the wheat isn’t far behind.  At the time of writing (9 June) Cordial and Gallant is starting to have ears emerge with most others getting close to boots splitting.

The exceptions to this are the late drilled wheat crops, which are at around GS37. While the weather stays warm these will progress to T2 timing rapidly. The fields that look like they have good yield potential will get at low dose of SDHI with triazole, the poorer ones will get a strobilurin plus triazole. Some may only warrant a straight triazole with chlorothalonil.

Spring barley has tillered well and most now have flag leaves emerging. The most forward crops have flag leaf sheaths extending. Second fungicide applications will be timed at awns emerging and is likely to be based on Jaunt (fluoxastrobin + prothioconazole + trifloxystrobin) and Arizona (folpet).

The more forward and thick crops of oilseed rape are finishing flowering and the thin crops have branched out well and are in full flower. There are some areas that had been written off, but have now recovered enough that they aren’t going to be sprayed off. They won’t yield much, but getting something off them is better than nothing at all.

Crops that are as thin as 3 plants/m have filled very well, with multiple branching filling as much space as they can. This also means that light has been able to penetrate through to the lower leaves so they haven’t died back. These leaves are here to feed the plant as it finishes flowering and turns to seed and pod growth.

Spring oilseed rape crops are at stem extension now, so will reach green/yellow bud very soon. Normally spring crops are more susceptible to pollen beetle than winter crops, but this year numbers have stayed fairly low so it will be interesting to see if they build enough to cause damage to the spring crops. Some winter crops are likely to be still flowering as spring crops are at yellow bud and this will reduce the threat of pollen beetle to the spring crop. But don’t stop monitoring crops until they are flowering.

Winter beans are flowering well, but at the moment pod set is variable – hopefully this will change. By the time you’re reading this spring bean crops may well be starting to flower. Disease levels have been low to date, so early fungicide applications have not been needed.  Most crops have been able to grow away from the low levels of pea and bean weevil, so few have needed treating.


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