East: Arrival of winter will slow down plant growth

After a very balmy autumn, things have changed quickly and soil temperatures are dropping rapidly and growth inevitably will slow down. However, despite some very tricky seedbeds and drillings the wet and relative warmth has meant that everything has germinated and indeed come up well.

The pressure now will come in the planning of spring nitrogen, as some of these later wheat’s roots may not enjoy some of the soil conditions underground, especially where beet has come off.

In this particular area, there has been a lot more rain than in other areas, this in turn has meant that there is still a lot of spraying that has not been done and some blackgrass is now tillering. I had hoped to get some Atlantis on to these, but with the current weather slowing growth, this might not happen even with the current advice from Bayer.

Pre-emergence treatments in general seem to have done a reasonable job and set the earlier drilled crops up well for the spring.

There are reports from our trials that yellow rust has been seen in Gallant and Oakley. Obviously this is unlikely to go anywhere at present, but serves to remind us that with about 60% of the varieties planted this year being rust prone and following on from warnings from various research organisations about the high risk,we need to plan the fungicide policy very carefully

Oilseed rape crops look very well as far as plant stands are concerned, but there are some huge flocks of pigeons that are doing a lot of damage.Propyzamide treatments are going on now, but with wet soils beware of the risk to water. Weed control in general is good, but I do have some fields that are infested with runch and this is a real problem. Attempts to slow it down with Fox, particularly in these conditions, is the only chance I have.

A repeat request given last week, do not forget the Soil Protection Review it must be done and a plea from Natural England to give more thought on the Campaign for Farmed Environment, we do not want a compulsory set aside.

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