Archive Article: 2001/06/15

15 June 2001

Stewart Hayllor

Stewart Hayllor farms 343ha

(850 acres) of owned and

rented land from Blackler

Barton, Landscove, Devon,

growing cereals and

combinable breaks. Organic

vegetables occupy 24ha

(60 acres) and a further

160ha (400 acres) is farmed

on contract

IT was almost as certain as Labours election victory. After months and months of rain, crops are now suffering from drought.

Virtually no rain has fallen in the past month and sunny weather and drying winds have scorched the soil, especially on our lighter fields. Claire winter wheat appears hardest hit by drought, with spotting on leaf three and two. It looks a little like septoria but is actually drought stress, something our ADAS consultant Bill Butler has been finding on other crops of Claire in the region.

In terms of disease, the wheats are very clean, with nothing on the top four leaves and no mildew even on Claire. The flag-leaf spray used so far has been 0.3 litres/ha of Opus (epoxiconizole) plus 0.6 litres/ha of Amistar (azoxystrobin). With the exception of one late-planted field, the winter oats are looking very good. Alto (cyproconazole), at just 0.2 litres/ha, has kept the crop clean.

Winter beans have also had a dose of Alto, initially at 0.2 litres/ha with Bravo (chlorothalonil) at 1.0 litre/ha, then followed up with Alto alone at 0.3 litres/ha just before the crop was too high to spray with a tractor. Now the crop has pods set in the lower branches and no chocolate spot or rust.

I wholeheartedly agree with David Richardsons suggestion that oilseed rape should be renamed Canola (FW May 25). With that in mind, our Canola has set a large number of pods during what appeared to be a long period of flowering. Hopefully the yield will reflect my optimism for the crop.

Organic potatoes are showing well in their rows and mechanical weeding has worked well on the whole. However, one field has needed some hand-weeding of charlock. As with all our crops, steady rain would be appreciated. There is a surprising amount of moisture in the ridges of our first planted field but later planting and mechanical weeding have left the last planted field very dry. &#42

Beans are clean with lower pods set, but like everything else, they could do with some rain now, says Devon grower Stewart Hayllor.

See more