West: Weather limits fieldwork opportunities

Cold or wet conditions have limited spraying opporunities, prevented applications of P&K fertiliser etc…..  Ploughing/cultivations for spring crops has been possible on light chalks, but most other soils remain too wet to work.

The un-exciting prospects for spring crops mean fallow will be used in the occasional field which has particular weed issues.

Winter cereal crops have come through the cold and snow relatively unscathed, and any untreated crops will no longer need an aphicide.  Some frost lift has been seen, but levels do not appear too damaging.

Although we had the best of intentions to apply Atlantis in the autumn to small black-grass plants, this was in many cases not possible.  Black-grass is now well tillered, and it is vital to take every step possible to maximise product efficacy.

Some forward OSR crops took a bit of a beating in the cold/snow, but
in the long run this will probably do no harm.  Generally the frost has
done a good job on Charlock, although in some fields planned Fox
applications will be applied as soon as conditions allow, and before
‘flower buds visible’ stage.

Samples are currently being taken for soil mineral nitrogen testing
in fields where high residual nitrogen levels are predicted/the crop
has specifice qualtiy requirements.  Results should be viewed as one of
the tools available, rather than the definitive answer.

Remember grain nitrogen levels are a useful way of assessing how
accurate nitrogen rates have been, and thereby provide guidance for the
future.  You should have this info. going back for a number of years
and it is free!

Given the concerns with declining bee populations etc… a fellow
agronomist and myself have arranged for a beekeeper to come and talk to
our clients.  The aim is for both parties to better understand the
other, and ensure that farmer and agronomist minimise any impact they
may have on bees whenever possible.  I am sure a healthy debate will

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