South: A few crops still need attention

Most spraying programmes have now been completed and short of some unusual problems, the gate is shut until harvest.

There are, however, a few exceptions. Spring peas have not had a fungicide yet since the weather has been unusually dry. I have also seen some pea aphids at a very low level so vigilance will be required over the coming days.

Spring beans have still not had a second fungicide targeted at rust. It is worth noting that Bravo no longer has a recommendation for use on beans, so unless you have stocks of the old formulation with the old MAPP number on the can, this is no longer an option.

Black bean aphid has not put in an appearance yet but again this pest could still be a problem although any recent treatments aimed at bruchid beetle should prevent problems arising.

I seem to have quite a large acreage of linseed this year, no doubt due to the relatively high price and the poor price expectations for spring barley when rotations were decided. The winter linseed is a mixed bag, some crops have been ripped up, some look poor and the odd crop looks stunning.

For my money this crop is still far to unreliable for widespread commercial planting. The key to success seems to be early planting ie early September and well consolidated seedbeds but this approach, given that Crawler and Defy are not totally crop safe and Aramo cannot be used until February, means blackgrass control is very difficult indeed.

Spring crops on the other hand look very good but again I have not used any fungicide so far given the dry conditions.

There has been some debate as to the use of late nitrogen on milling wheats given that the recent rains will have allowed quite a lot of uptake around ear emergence. Most of my customers have decided not to risk falling at the last hurdle and are still going to use a foliar product at the milky ripe stage.

Thats it for the season. In another 3-4 weeks time the combines will be rolling.

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