South: Phoma spray dilemma

Sitting in my office looking out at the arctic conditions, it is difficult to see much spraying getting done in the short-term.

Soil temperatures will now have plummeted and short of a long extended period of unseasonably mild weather remaining Atlantis/Horus applications will have to wait till the spring. Risk of further spread of barley yellow dwarf virus will also have been reduced in areas that have experienced temperatures as low as -10C.

Most cereal crops have established well and blackgrass levels remain lower than expected. Pre-emergence treatments are still working well and most blackgrass plants that have come through the pre-emergence sprays look fairly sick, hopefully the recent frosts may have finished a few of these off!

Most first phoma sprays went onto oilseed rape crops from mid October onwards and at present there is little evidence of re-infection and the current unseasonably cold conditions will not be very conducive to re-infection.

Now that soil temperatures have dropped, Kerb and Crawler applications have either been applied or are lined up for application. The dilemma has been “should we apply a second phoma spray since we are going through the crop or not.”

After discussion with my customers, some have decided to apply one and some are adopting a wait and see approach. Neither of these  is wrong, it depends more on individual’s willingness to potentially travel through crops again.

Winter beans have emerged very quickly this year and look well. Unfortunately this speed of emergence has caught a few people by surprise and not all planned pre-emergence treatments have gone on! 

That’s it for another year, I hope it has been a more prosperous one, and I look forward to the challenges next season brings.

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