East: Orange blossom midge threat

Excessive temperatures over the weekend, caused flag leaves to emerge at a rapid rate. Hopefully, all flag leaf sprays will have been applied by now, even though the time interval between the T1 and T2 has been short. With soil temperatures rising, and the threat of rain to moisten soils, the next problem to encounter will be the dreaded orange blossom midge.

Where crops are approaching GS52 and are not resistant to orange blossom midge, pheromone traps have been placed in  fields. I actually think the work done by the scientists at Rothamsted to produce these traps is a great piece of scientific research, For those who do not want to go to the expense of pheromone traps, then the yellow sticky traps which can be acquired at garden centres offer another method of monitoring what is happening in the crop, so that  any unnecessary applications of insecticides need not occur.

Uneven flowering crops of rape will receive another fungicide against sclerotinia, as it was these crops which were hit by a late germination of sclerotinia in 2008. Where a triazole has been used previously,  then iprodione + thiophanate-methyl will be used, in accordance with Fungicide Resistance Action Group guidelines.

Since we started to have warmer nights sugar beet  has grown and is starting to look how it should at this time of year. Weed control has been challenging to say the least this year, as due to the dry conditions there has been no help from the residuals. Hopefully when we do get some moisture they will begin to kick in. At present we have been relying on contact sprays with the addition of extra oil to improve performance.

Combing peas have certainly liked the dry conditions, and what has been surprising has  been the weed control from the pre-emergence resisduals. I have had only had to over spray one field , which is great considering our lack of post emergence options.

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