North: Spraying nearly over

At long last the weather has changed and well needed moisture has arrived. Recent head counts on the wheat crops reveal numbers are down 10-15% on average years.

It would appear that harvest could be 7-10 days earlier than normal but time will tell.

Spraying is near completion on the wheat crops as final ear wash sprays are applied. No one treatment dominates the area, although tebuconazole offers a cost effective option.

Like many advisors and growers I have looked at scores of fungicide trials and found few if any visual differences. But the more unsettled weather may now tease out a few visual differences.

Cereal leaf beetle has certainly had a “good” year and numbers are very high. Overall, this pest is more visual than yield robbing so remains untreated in most crops.

Winter barley is now marching towards harvest and is best viewed at 55 mph. Inspection of the ears shows a high number of blind ear sites which I assume is caused by the stress at flowering.

Unfortunately it adds to a further tale of woe!  The variety Volume bucks the trend by looking well on several farms and there is no doubt the further north you travel the picture improves.

Oilseed rape crops cover the whole range of emotions and whole range of potential harvest dates. Glyphosate will dominate the desiccation process and will start to be applied in the not too distant future. With prices looking very good some crops will receive a sealant to try and protect yield.

Spring crops are another mixed bag of emotions but there is not likely to be a huge harvest in any of them. Spring barley is receiving its last fungicide as the ears emerge. Spring beans are also receiving a fungicide at mid-flowering to protect against rust and chocolate spot.

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