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Report: 05 October 2010 (for week beginning 27 September 2010)

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

Field activities are at a halt after recent rain: Wet weather pest and diseases need watching but as yet no active Phoma reported and no major slug activity.

Keep checking for Phoma.

Recent rains will increase risk of slugs.

: Metaldehyde Stewardship Best Practice for 2010

Use minimum active per ha to avoid drainage and runoff losses.

Maximum application rate 210 g metaldehyde a.s./ha. For additional protection of water, suppliers / BASIS advisors may recommend rates reduced to 160 g a.s./ha or less.

Maximum total dose from first August to 31st December: 210 g metaldehyde a.s./ha. For additional protection of water, suppliers / BASIS advisors may recommend rates reduced to 160 g a.s./ha or less.

Maximum total dose rate: 700 g metaldehyde a.s./ha/calendar year.

No pellets to be applied within 6 metres of a watercourse.

Do not apply when heavy rain is forecast.

If drains are flowing do not apply metaldehyde based slug pellets.

Winter Oilseed Rape

image from FoL

Palace winter oilseed rape
Photo Phillip Tuplin.

South East: Cotyledon to 5 true leaves - bulk of crops are now around 2-3 true leaves. Main Varieties being grown are ES Alienor, Vision, Ovation plus some DK Cabernet and DK Expower.

Slugs: very little activity seen so far.

Turnip sawfly: adults seen in crops last week but no sign of larvae yet.

Phoma: none seen to date, even on volunteers in nearby rape stubbles - but 5 inches of rain in second half of August and current wet spell will be more than sufficient to trigger spore release at some point. Unlike last year may well be a two-spray Autumn on more susceptible varieties.

Blackgrass: high levels emerging with crop along with volunteer cereals.

South West: Sustained rapid leaf accumulation taking place although reduced vigour, characterised by slower growing,slightly chlorotic plants where insufficient soil mixing after some spring herbicides. Many crops up to 8 leaves. Crops which suffered from capping and slumping are now recovering strongly.

Slugs: very low levels. Only sporadic damage seen.

Phoma: still no signs of crops at threshold level, however, after all this rain inspections over the next 10 to 14 days will be crucial.

Weed control: Pre emergence herbicide materials have performed exceptionally well to date, however breakdown of the actives is likely to be quicker in the current conditions so watch out for sow-thistle and cleavers later on. With luck vigorous crops will be our best ally.

Eastern Counties: Most advanced rape 3 to 4 leaves.

Flea beetle: a lot of flea beetle and some leaf miner damage on early drilled crops.

Slugs: just beginning to see small amounts of slug activity.

Phoma: none seen.

Blackgrass: emerging with rape in large numbers in places.

Other weeds: rapid emergence of volunteer barley on some non inversion tillage fields. Action required to prevent competition and in particular barley taking moisture. Poppies just beginning to emerge at cotyledon stage on light soils.

East Midlands: Forward crops at 4 leaves but most at 2 leaves. Some late drilled at cotyledon or just emerging.

Slugs: low levels of damage but on the whole crops free of problems.

Phoma: none seen.

Weed control: early post ems now on the vast majority of crops but one or two have weeds emerging before post ems on, but generally post ems have gone onto clean soils. A lot of blackgrass emerging too.

West Midlands: Crops range from chitting to six true leaf stage.

Slugs: still no major issues but some late crops where at cotyledon on heavy land grazing evident.

Phoma: none seen.

Weed control: all crops have now had broad leaf weed herbicide some with graminicide in the tank mix where volunteers very aggressive.

North East: Crops have established well and have quickly reached 3-5 leaves. The major varieties drilled are Catana, Compass, Dimension, Excalibur, Fashion and Palace.

Slugs: all non-inversion seedbeds are very high risk , but most crops drilled at low seed numbers so only a few slugs needed to do serious damage.

Phoma: none seen.

Weed control: all crops have now been sprayed.

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Winter Wheat

image from FoL

Good seedbeds being
Photo Farming Online.

South East: Drilling of Claire, Scout, Gallant, Solstice and Viscount now mostly completed on most farms. Drilling of Xi19 just underway this week. Around 80% of first wheats have now been been drilled. Farms growing second wheat Cordiale/Solstice with take-all seed treatment are planning to finish drilling by 5-7th October - around 25% already sown. Earliest sown Claire and Scout now at Peri-emergence - 1 leaf. Drilling looks as though it will be on hold for a while now as October seems to have heralded start of autumn.

Leatherjackets: some high levels are being found in fields after long-term grass/set-aside.

Slugs: trapping in fields after oilseed rape pre-/or post-drilling is indicating generally low levels of slugs (though populations are generally very low on fields that have been disced/cultivated twice pre-drilling).

South West: Still in seed bag to GS 13. Crops are emerging around 10 days from drilling in the current wet, mild conditions. As the season progresses and days shorten and cool seed rates are being increased to around 300/square metre. Very heavy rain has curtailed drilling on all but the lightest land. Little prospect of more going in the ground before mid next week. Good progress with drilling has been made to date and around half the wheat crop is now in the ground.

Gout fly: eggs have been seen on around 10% of plants on early sowings.

Slugs: none seen.

Eastern Counties: The current weather is pushing back progress with drilling. Earlier sown first wheat now at one leaf stage. Many fields at field capacity.

Slugs: very much in evidence in fields following oilseed rape.

Weed control: some blackgrass emerging where no pre-emergence has been applied.

East Midlands: Some wheat drilled in last week - none emerged yet. Heavier soils now very sticky and little or no drilling in past 2-3 days. Some drilling on lighter land but all in all fieldwork is now at a standstill. Some fields now being ploughed rather than min till as soils get too sticky.

Slugs: recently drilled field after rape showing some signs of slug damage.

West Midlands: Earliest crops approaching GS14. Commenced drilling second wheats 23rd September. All wheat now in after oilseed rape plus fair acreage after winter oats and a smaller acreage after winter and spring beans. 15% of second wheat in.

Slugs: so far so good with only occasional grazing taking place after oilseed rape.

North East: Earliest sown crops just emerging to GS 11. All first wheats drilled and a few second wheats. Major varieties include Oakley, Viscount, Scout, Grafton, Cordiale and Duxford. Field conditions were ideal and very large acreages were being drilled every day, but had 24mm rain in last 7 days so all field work at a standstill for several days now.

Slugs: only low numbers found so far but risk of damage increasing daily under current field conditions.

Blackgrass: robust pre-em mixes are planned depending on likely blackgrass pressure. Crop safety is paramount, good soil cover over the seed is essential. There is moisture in the ground now so hopefully there will be better results than in Autumn 2009.

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Winter Barley

: Watch sowing rates as very high thousand grain weights this year. For example seed stocks of Saffron in the West Midlands have a TGW of 59.

South East: Winter barley drilling around 50-70% completed in last few days.

South West: First winter barley crops in grounds and likely to emerge in a day or so.

Eastern Counties: Crops beginning to emerge.

East Midlands: Just the odd field sown.

West Midlands: Earliest sown barley crops now at 1 true leaf. Will commence spraying from week starting 4th October.

North East: Probably only 60% of barleys drilled so far. Some at GS 11, but most just germinating. Major varieties being drilled are Cassia, Cassata, Pearl, Retriever, Sequel and Volume.

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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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