West: Sclerotinia treatment top priority

The rain a week ago has at last washed-in the nitrogen fertiliser, crops have brightened-up a little but low night temperatures are still discouraging growth. There is a great difference in development between crops on the low ground and those at 500-600 feet. While they are going through the growth stages as usual, crops on exposed sites are gaining little height.

Early winter barley is coming into ear, often with the crop no more than 12″ tall. T2 fungicides have been applied in the past week. Disease levels are low. Some crops are looking very open as a result of a dry April and yield potential must have been reduced. Final applications of nitrogen to winter barley should have been completed by now.

Wheat T1 treatments have been applied with septoria infection fairly low and no rust seen so far. There is mildew on the lower stem of susceptible varieties so the T1 fungicide has been chosen accordingly.  With very short crops there was some debate about growth regulator use but as we do not know what the weather will be in the next few weeks, chlormequat inclusion still seemed advisable.

Atlantis is working disconcertingly slowly. Conditions since application have been far from ideal and I am concerned that some blackgrass is recovering.

Spring barley is developing well and most crops now need a broad-leaved weed killer and T1 fungicide. There is a lot of manganese deficiency showing, probably partly due to dry conditions. Malting barley should have received all of its nitrogen by now.

Most winter oilseed rape is being treated for sclerotinia. The potential damage from this disease is too great to ignore and although we have not had much rain and night temperatures are still low, treatment is advisable.

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