HIGH winds and heavy rain have taken their toll on winter barley crops, reports North Down Grain agronomist Trevor Neville.*
"We had about 5in of rain in May, 30% up on average. So far in June we have had 4in, double the usual. Temperatures stayed high, encouraging soft, lush growth. That left plants a bit weak."
Even full rate growth regulator programmes have failed to keep many crops standing. "Across the region, about 80% of crops are 60% lodged, some severely."
On barometer grower Charles Davidsons Home Lea Farm at Ballywalter, a half rate Terpal at third node detectable (GS33), followed by half rate Cerone (2-chloroethylphosphonic acid) was applied to the barleys, most of which are six-row varieties.
"Some crops are badly tossed, but lodging is not as bad as elsewhere," says Mr Neville. "The barley has good heads. If we get some good weather soon crops should not come to too much harm."
At least they are clean, he points out. Rhynchosporium was controlled with Radar (propiconazole) or Punch C (carbendazim + flusilazole) at flag leaf before lodging occurred. Corbel (fenpropimorph) or Patrol (fenpropidin) was added to control mildew.
Wheats – Brigadier, Consort, Reaper and Soissons – have fared better. "They are all standing and look pretty good." A full rate Impact Excel (chlorothalonil + flutriafol) and half-rate Patrol at flag leaf to ear-emerged was applied to control mildew, noticeable in Brigadier, and to prevent septoria.
Rain has hindered mancozeb application at Home Lea Farm. Mr Neville is advising three-quarter rate tebuconazole (Folicur). "Contact sprays could easily be washed off."
*Charles Davidson is on holiday. *