West: Don’t forget the spring crops

There has been a decent amount of rain for some areas over the weekend, but sadly, not for all.

Most winter wheat is now in flower so safe from orange wheat blossom midge, but the later crops, with ears just emerging, still need monitoring. As grain starts to fill, all crops need to be checked for aphids in the ears. Aphid populations were building in the warm weather, but the large numbers of ladybirds in crops this year seem to be limiting the infestation. Spray only if threshold numbers are found and use a product safe to beneficial insects.

T3 fungicides have been applied in the past week though the dry conditions have deterred some growers from spraying, especially where T2 was delayed until ears were emerging .

With winter crop treatments nearly finished, don’t forget the spring crops. They may have been badly affected by the drought, but they are of potentially high value so need looking after.

Potential threats in spring crops over the next couple of weeks are:

Pollen beetle in oilseed rape.The threshold is only one beetle per plant at green/yellow bud, so clearly is a very damaging pest. There is no need to spray once flowers open.

Linseed crops are struggling to survive, with  emergence very patchy. Watch out for flea beetle damage as the crop can do without the extra stress.

Peas are in flower and aphids are a threat.They can be found deep inside the flowers and are not always immediately obvious.

Spring beans also are flowering so check for aphids and for mildew developing on the leaves. Rust may become a problem later and it is usually advisable to apply a two-spray fungicide programme starting during early flowering.

T2 fungicides on spring barley are due when awns are emerging. Where conditions are still dry it may not be worthwhile treating but where there has been rain rhynchosporium will be the most obvious threat, especially in more susceptible varieties.

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