East: Wheels turn as the new season begins well

In the east more settled weather is forecast allowing growers to keep to their planned schedule of autumn work.

Warm autumn days and moist soils have encouraged good emergence and establishment of most rapeseed; even later-sown crops drilled into good conditions are growing well. Cereal volunteers and grassweeds will continue to emerge and should be controlled before becoming competitive with the crop.

Memories of last season’s disappointing cereal yields are still raw. They were a result of unfavourable weather conditions, beginning with wet weather in late September which led to delayed drilling into difficult seed-beds. Consequently this season drilling of first wheats has begun in earnest as growers take advantage of good conditions.

As drilling dates are pushed forward it is ever more important to focus on achieving good seed-beds. Residual pre-emergence herbicides work best on fine, friable, moist seed-beds.  Fields with a blackgrass history should receive a pre- or peri- emergence flufenacet-based herbicide (e.g. Crystal and Liberator). Other actives can be stacked or sequenced with flufenacet according to blackgrass pressure and its resistance status. No doubt further comment on autumn cereal herbicides will ensue.

In rapeseed and cereals monitor slug activity in traps and crops.  Be aware of the guidelines for metaldehyde stewardship (up to 210 g of active on each crop this autumn).  Manage dose and number of applications according to the product and crop risk.

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