West: Olympic linseed rings brighten dull June

Another remarkable two weeks of weather with almostincessant rain and horrifyingly strong winds.  Every day I venture out expecting to see a lot of laid anddamaged crops but apart from a few fertiliser overlaps and highly fertilepatches, crops have withstood the onslaught well. 

It is especially pleasing to see the winter barley standingso well – on a visit last week to the German Cereals event many of the winterbarley fields had only the tramlines standing.  On the day we visited the German site it resembled a paddyfield with queues of cars waiting for tractors to tow them out.  Being stalwart Brits we pushed our minibus out of the bog onto the firmer roadways. 

One of the most interesting demonstrations at the show wasan SDHI fungicide seed treatment which appeared to be keeping a wheat crop freeof disease until GS 37.  Wonder howthis will cope long term with resistance management?

Fungicide programmes are currently keeping on top ofdisease, however spray misses, even in varieties like Alchemy with goodSeptoria resistance, are rapidly becoming defoliated.  Initial observations of trials suggest that SDHIs areperforming well and the inclusion of chlorothalonil in programmes is showinglarge benefits.

One bright spot in this gloomy June has been the appearanceof the Olympic Rings in a client’s linseed crop.  Today with some sun they looked stunning www.linseedrings.co.uk.

Thoughts are now turning to harvest management of oilseed rape.  Our preferred option is directcombining of a naturally mature crop however this is not always possible and itis highly likely that many fields will have at least the headlands sprayed offwith glyphosate.  This will be muchlater than the usual early July.  Isuspect many rape crops will not be combined until August this year. Do notdesiccate too early or yield and oil will be lost.

Cereal crops have some late green material coming throughafter all the rain so do not forget desiccation on these crops.

Winter barley is now starting to turn but again harvest isunlikely to be before 20th July.  Crops for crimping will be ready 10 to 14 days earlier.

Forage maize is desperate for sunshine and crops are veryslow to green up. We have applied herbicide to a few very weedy fields withsome trepidation about scorch but the maize has tolerated the treatment well.

Winter beans have proved troublesome with chocolate spot difficultto control in all but very late-drilled crops.  Spring beans have been more straightforward with only downymildew beingthe only issue in a few places.

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