Southwest: Wheat plays tricks

We are now in the middle of a dry sunny spell with frosts at night. Trying to find a suitable window for the application of Atlantis/Othello has been a nightmare this season as we just cannot seem to get away from frosts for any period of time. It remains to be seen how effective applications made in the last week or two have been.

The wheat crop is currently 10 days behind in terms of growth stage compared to where we would usuall expect to be due to the cold spring. The wheat crop has dealt with this by dropping a node. I am now looking at wheat crops that are just reaching GS 31 but that have final leaf 3 almost fully emerged. Having played this trick on us we now have to decide on the best way forward. many of the crops have only just recieved their T0 application. Do we then chase right back in with the T1 or leave a sensible gap. At the moment because we are not experiencing Septoria type weather I am favouring the leaving of a sensible gap and applying the T1  when final leaf 3 is nearly fully emerged or even when final leaf 2 is just visible.

The winter barley crop is behaving itself as far as growth stages are concerned but is not growing fast due to the cold nights. The dry spell also means that the barley has not had the full benefit of its applied nitrogen yet and this is always bad news for this crop which should be forging ahead at this time of year.

The rape crop is again late to flower this year with yellow bud just
visible as I write. These crops are going to receive a fungicide
imminently if not already applied. The difficulty this year has been
trying to decide which crops should be receiving a PGR type with all
canopies being on the small side coming into the spring. The result has
been that many crops are going to receive a mix of fungicides with one
of them providing PGR activity, thereby avoiding a “full dose PGR” Last
week saw a major increase in the levels of Pollen Beetle infestation
with several crops averaging 12 to 15 bettles per flower head. These
crop will receive a pyrethroid insecticide.

The spring bean crop has emerged well and immediately been hit in
places by Pea and Bean Weevil. These crops again will receive a
pyrethroid at the first opportunity.

At the time of writing the first of this years maize crops are being
drilled. Once again we are seeing a larger area destined for combining
this year.

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