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Very close up shot of wheat crop ears in field

Report: 13 October 2010 (for week beginning 04 October 2010)

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

Rain: has delayed sowing in many areas and in some parts of the country drilling is way behind.

Slug activity: is still reported as low although eggs are now being found.

Recent rains will increase risk of slugs.

First signs of Phoma: reported in the South West and North East but none at threshold levels.

Keep checking for Phoma.

: 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: Crops range from 1 leaf to 6 true leaves with the bulk of crops around 3-4 true leaves.

Slugs: very little activity seen so far.

Turnip sawfly: no larvae seen as yet.

Phoma: none seen yet.

Weed control: blackgrass control looks hopeful so far.

South West: Many crops with 8 or more leaves and still motoring on.

Slugs: very low levels. Only sporadic damage seen.

Phoma: still no signs of crops at threshold level.

Weed control: rapid emergence of charlock.

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.

Weed control: blackgrass now at two leaf stage in some crops.

East Midlands: Earlier crops at 4 leaves but on the whole crops at 2-3 leaves with later drilled at 1 leaf.

Slugs: levels of damage remain low usually confined to the odd patch but not anything of any major consequence.

Phoma: none seen.

Weed control: levels of blackgrass vary with some crops very clear and others in need of control.

West Midlands: Crops range from cotyledon to 6 true leaf. Noticing that plough and drill crops or min till/combi drill crops are growing noticeably faster than the auto cast crops (and much more even).

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 4-6 leaves. Still wet, but a few delayed spraying jobs being done now.

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: a few lesions seen this week, but no crops at threshold levels yet.

Weed control: all crops been sprayed now.

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Winter Wheat

image from FoL

Clearing the field to get
that wheat in.
Photo Farming Online.

South East: 3.5 inches of rain at the end of last week/weekend stopped drilling until this weekend - but with good forecast for next week most farms should get close to finishing by around 15th October. Earliest sown Claire, Scout and Solstice now at peri-emergence to 1 leaf - crops generally emerging within 7-10 days of sowing. Soils are now very wet where they have been cultivated - several drying days needed on heavier soils before drilling can recommence.

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

Slugs: still only low levels of slugs. High risk fields after oilseed rape or set-aside may have treatment applied at crop emergence if damage found.

Weed control: Following heavy rain last weekend and where seed less than 25mm deep, some planned pre-emergence applications now going on at peri-emergence instead.

South West: Rapid growth continuing with early sowings putting 3rd leaf out. Once again rain has put the dampers on drilling however a few dry days into the weekend should see rapid progress. Land is taking the rain well with very little ponding except in structurally damaged areas.

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

Slugs: none seen.

Eastern Counties: Earliest sown first wheat now at one leaf stage. Many fields at field capacity.

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

Saddle gall midge: present in some continuous and second wheat stubbles.

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

East Midlands: Drilling at a standstill - earlier sown crops at GS 11 but majority at GS 10 and some 50% still to drill hopefully by end of this week. After 50mm rain in past 7 days fields very sticky below surface - some farmers now ploughing instead of minimum tillage. Some ponding on headlands.

Slugs: where crops emerging after rape no signs of any slug activity but clutches of slug eggs can be found under clods so expect a hatch in next week or so. Slugs on rape stubbles going into wheat very numerous and these fields will need careful watching - odd field getting pre baiting onto rape stubbles. Generally good soil cover around seed so main risk is as crops emerge.

Weed control: very little blackgrass emerging where crops emerging and some pre ems still to go on due to weather.

West Midlands: Earliest crops approaching GS 14. All wheat after oilseed rape now in, and a good proportion of second wheat also in. Earliest of these are at GS 11. Some farms now drilled up others though have barley started. Too wet at the moment for the min till guys. But plough and drill men going well since this Monday. Ground is drying well with the sun and wind. However, still need 10-14 days dry to get the bulk of the ground in.

Slugs: still no disasters with second wheat so far no damage at all. But watch those cloddy areas.

North East: No drilling has been possible for 12 days now, so all wheat that has been drilled is emerging now, and the most forward is at GS 11-12. Emergence has been excellent. The major varieties include Oakley, Viscount, Scout, Grafton, Cordiale and Duxford. Had another 36mm rainfall in last 7 days on top of the 66mm in September. All drilled fields were done under good conditions but most are too soft to consider applying the pre-emergence herbicide. Fields been ploughed and pressed are reasonably weather-proof and will be ready to drill in a few days if no more significant rainfall. Land that has been worked finer will be some time before any chance of drilling.

Slugs: only low numbers found so far but risk of damage increasing daily under current field conditions. Only a few fields have been treated, and these were top-worked only.

Weed control: pre-emergence herbicides seem to be working well and very little blackgrass has been seen coming through yet even in known 'bad' fields.

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Winter Barley

South East: Winter barley drilling around 75-80% completed. Earliest sown crops now at around 1 leaf.

South West: Winter barley now emerging and a little transient chlorosis from pre- emergence herbicides now apparent.

Eastern Counties: Crops beginning to emerge.

East Midlands: Just beginning to emerge.

West Midlands: Earliest sown barley crops now at 2 true leaf, spraying as of this week. Only about 25% of acreage in to date.

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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