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Very close up shot of wheat crop ears in field

Report: 04 June 2010 (for week beginning 31 May 2010)

Report compiled by Farming Online from reports received from members of the Association of Independent Crop Consultants

04 June 2010: Concerns remain over yield potential of winter cereals as further is rain needed.

Winter wheat crops at ear emergence at risk from wheat blossom midge this weekend - adults at low numbers in the South.

Earliest wheat starting to flower.

Disease levels in winter wheat remain low.

Winter Oilseed Rape

image from FoL

Petal fall nears completion.
Photo Farming Online.

South East: Flowering now mostly finished except on any backward areas. Despite recent late frosts, very little sign of aborted pods or damaged buds in most crops/varieties, with the exception of DK Cabernet, which has a worrying level of aborted sites on main raceme. Long flowering period has resulted in high numbers of set pods - just need moisture to fill them now - hopefully a good sign for yields?

Sclerotinia: no further applications planned until pre-harvest desiccant.

South West: Most fields now predominantly green. Fields affected by poor pod set appear to have compensated via side branches but will be later.

Seed weevil: very few seed weevils seen.

Eastern Counties: Most crops are almost out of flower, top flowers seem to have faded rapidly and I think pod set from these final flowers seems poor. Result of the drought stress? Crops are rapidly losing leaf.

Sclerotinia: very few crops have received a second fungicide.

East Midlands: Many crops still flowering to some extent although more advanced crops now have only a few flowers left. Some later crops after pigeon damage still mid flowering - it will not be an early rape harvest. Some anxiety about poor pod set due to frosts but later crops look more promising.

Sclerotinia: no further action.

Seed weevil: numbers remain below threshold in spite of recent warm weather.

West Midlands: Some reports of Cabernet with very few pods most likely due to late flowering, could be interesting as theoretically the highest yielding variety on the list. Some crops now finished flowering.

Sclerotinia: all sprays now on.

North East: Many crops coming to end of flowering now and for Dimension, Catana and Excalibur pod set looks good. There are a lot of blind sites in some of the Cabernet, Compass and Ovation.

Sclerotinia: no further treatments.

Mildew: none seen.

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Winter Wheat

image from FoL

Ear emergence in wheat.
Photo Farming Online.

South East: Crops continue to race along with many crops now showing ears 1/3- fully emerged, particularly on lighter soils where crops are getting moisture stressed. Some varieties such as Cordiale and Soissons now flowering. Much needed rain totaling around 15mm over Bank Holiday weekend, has given crops a short reprieve from drought stress, but with soil moisture deficits running at around 100mm, current warm/hot weather will see a rapid return of drought stress (leaf rolling and senescence) unless more rain arrives in next week. Yields have now undoubtedly been compromised quite widely, particularly on lighter and gravelly soils.

Brown rust: none seen.

Yellow rust: none seen - except in untreated variety plots where now very evident in Oakley, Robigus, Viscount, Gallant and Solstice.

Mildew: still no active pustules found.

Septoria: mainly dry conditions, with no real rain splash events so far this May are likely to result in very low Septoria pressure in most crops here in the South.

Eyespot: what symptoms there were now dried up.

Wheat blossom midge: first catches of adult males have been recorded in pheromone traps in the last two evenings, but only low levels to date.

South West: Virtually all wheat now has ears emerging. Grafton and Gallant are at anthesis. Despite 15 mm rain last weekend and early this week, wheat on light land still looks very moisture stressed. Disease levels remain extremely low with no Septoria above leaf 4 or even 5. Late season PGR use has been almost non existent.

Yellow rust: none seen.

Mildew: no significant levels.

Septoria: still confined to lower leaves.

Eyespot: lesions in early drillings are rarely penetrating beyond the leaf sheath.

Wheat blossom midge: low numbers of blossom midge sighted on evening forays - maximum seen around 10/square metre. Threshold of 1 per 6 ears on milling wheat means an average crop with around 500-600 ears per square metre would need to have around 80 to 100 flying around or double that on feed wheat.

Eastern Counties: Most crops at early ear emergence and disease levels remain very low. Soils remain dry and crops are suffering significant drought stress, even on heavy land.

Brown rust: trace levels only.

Yellow rust: no active disease seen.

Mildew: disease present on late drilled crops but not active.

Septoria: at low levels in most crops, in particular on early drilled and forward crops.

Wheat blossom midge: none seen as yet.

East Midlands: Crops are variable ranging from GS 39-45, occasional ears almost fully emerged. On drier sites, evidence of take-all symptoms as slightly affected roots unable to meet needs of the growing crop. Good crops only on the more fertile sites - organic manures etc. Many crops short so reduced lodging risk. Still very little disease where 'normal' sprays applied at about the right time.

Brown rust: none seen.

Yellow rust: none seen.

Mildew: levels very low - only the odd stressed crop on light land but vast majority clear.

Septoria: top 4 leaves remain very clean and now should be OK as flag sprays on.

Eyespot: very little present.

Wheat blossom midge: risk increasing - monitor, but this has never been a big problem in this area. So far numbers are very low with little or none seen.

West Midlands: Grafton starting to flower with all but the latest sown wheat with the ears starting to push out. Rainfall (10-25 mm dependant upon location within the region) Saturday and Monday has brought welcome relief to the very dry conditions.

Brown rust: none seen.

Yellow rust: none seen.

Mildew: developing on late sown crops of Duxford.

Septoria: top four leaves remain clean.

Eyespot: levels much reduced.

Aphids: a few colonies appearing on late sown wheats.

Wheat blossom midge: none seen as yet.

North East: Most crops at early ear emergence. Alchemy is a bit later and is at boots swollen. It continues to be very dry with only 13mm of rainfall in May, and just 2mm so far this month. Crops still look ok, but some 2nd wheats just slightly stressed, but with no obvious leaf rolling yet. Yields will be badly hit in some crops if there isn?t a significant wet spell soon.

Brown rust: none seen.

Yellow rust: none seen.

Septoria: final leaves 2 and 3 are clean, but there is infection on older leaves which could be easily splashed up onto them.

Eyespot: still only being found at low levels, and no serious infections seen.

Wheat blossom midge: all pheromone traps are in place now. No midge caught so far. Conditions too dry for midge emergence and soil temperatures only 11 degrees C. 13 degrees is the critical figure.

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Winter Barley

South East: Growth stages now mostly range from GS52-55, with ears nearly fully emerged on crops of Boost. T2 fungicides all applied at the end of last week/beginning of this. Drought stress showing on any gravelly areas.

South West: Winter Barley flowering and all operations complete on this crop. Canopies have remained clean although yield prospects not great after the dry spring.

Eastern Counties: Crops at ear emergence.

East Midlands: Crops now up to GS 45-59. Few tillers, short crops, lodging risk below average. No late PGRs.

West Midlands: Some light land crops really suffered during the hot spell 12 days ago, with the flag leaf just about hanging on and all leaves below senesced, otherwise crops ok.

North East: Crops at late anthesis to early grain filling now.

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Spring Beans

: Earliest crop at first flower buds but crops are short. No signs of downy mildew reported.

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Crop Report compiled by Farming Online from reports received from members of the Association of Independent Crop Consultants.

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