West: Plenty of spraying to be done

Some wheat crops on fertile, sheltered sites are developing rapidly, with leaf three just starting to emerge on the main tillers.  However, many crops have been held back by the cold nights and dry conditions and development has been slow.

Given that I have not found yellow rust, we have been able to follow a conventional GS30-31 timing for T0 fungicides. Hopefully this will mean the interval between T0 and T1 is three weeks or fewer.

The T1 will be targeted at 75% emergence of leaf three, but the weather and workload will ultimately dictate when it is applied.

In some fields there has been a spring germination of blackgrass, which is now at the one-to-two leaf stage.  Where Atlantis (iodosulfuron + mesosulfuron) has already been applied there is nothing we can do, which is rather frustrating.

Recent rain has also seen a flush of broad-leaved weeds in some cereal crops.  Where the T0 has already been applied, a hebicide will be included with the T1.

Winter barley crops are now receiving their T1 fungicides. Programmes are being based on one of the new SDHI actives plus prothioconazole.

Where pollen beetle numbers have exceeded thresholds winter oilseed rape crops have been sprayed with an insecticide.  It will be interesting to see if there is any correlation between pollen beetle control and yields at the end of the season.

Many oilseed rape crops will receive a fungicide with plant growth regulator activity at green/yellow bud.  The objectives of this application are threefold: canopy manipulation, light leaf spot control, and managing the risk of early sclerotinia infection.

With the exception of forage maize, spring drilling is hopefully complete.  Conditions have been ideal, and as a result, seed-beds are good. We are, therefore, hoping for quick emergence of spring oilseed rape and linseed.  Monitor crops every couple of days for flea beetle, which can be very damaging until the crop is well established.

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