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Very close up shot of wheat crop ears in field

Report: 15 October 2010 (for week beginning 11 October 2010)

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

Phoma: at threshold levels in eastern counties and developing in the south.

Herbicide damage: from pre-emergence sprays in some wheat crops.

Slugs: still not causing a big problem.

Winter Oilseed Rape

image from FoL

Phoma leaf spot.
Photo Farming Online.

South East: Crops range from 2 to 6+ true leaves with the bulk of crops are now around 3-5 true leaves.

Phoma: as predicted by Rothamsted Phoma leaf spot forecasting service. First Phoma spots now being found quite widely in last few days, particularly on Vision and very low levels on more resistant varieties such as ES Alienor and Ovation - levels range between 2-10%. Susceptable varieties may need more than 1 spray this autumn.

Slugs: very little activity seen so far.

Turnip sawfly: no larvae seen as yet.

Weed control: blackgrass control looks hopeful so far. Hoping that the residual efficacy of metazachlor will help control later emerging blackgrass.

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

Phoma: still no signs of crops at threshold level.

Slugs: very low levels. Only sporadic damage seen.

Weed control: rapid emergence of charlock.

Eastern Counties: Most advanced rape 6 to 7 leaves and covering the ground well. Where the land has been ploughed or rape has been established down the subsoiler leg then crops are vigorous. However some of our light land rape in NW Norfolk lacks vigour and is growing slowly. This is mainly fields established with non-inversion tillage and often where there is a lot of straw in surface layers. The soil seems to have gone down very tight after the heavy rainfall. We are applying trace element mixes. Some acidity has been picked up in surface layers on a couple of farms again following the wet weather

Phoma: widespread in areas especially near to last years rape. Above threshold levels on 50% of fields.

Flea beetle: damage has been quite severe on early drilled crops and those which lack vigour are of particular concern.

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

Leaf miner: damage everywhere but most obvious on backward crops.

Weed control: high levels of brome on some non-inversion tillage fields. Charlock has emerged in dense patches on a few fields.

East Midlands: Forward crops at 5-6 leaves but majority at 3-4 leaves with a few later crops at 1-2 leaves.

Phoma: none seen yet.

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

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. Some fields 100% ground cover.

Phoma: first signs of leaf spotting seen this week. For those that have sprayed up on other crops, they will start making phoma application next week whilst conditions are good and able to easily achieve a dry leaf (even in yesterday's sun, forward crops were too wet to spray until 2.00pm).

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

Leaf miner: obvious in many crops.

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. All fields dry enough to catch up on all delayed spraying jobs.

Phoma: a few lesions seen this week, but no crops at threshold levels yet. Will apply fungicide soon as threshold levels seen, this is expected to be towards the end of October.

Light leaf spot: a few lesions seen.

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.

Leaf miner: common in many crops.

Weed control: all crops have now been sprayed.

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Winter Wheat

image from FoL

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

South East: Around 90-95% of 1st and 2nd wheats have now been sown - good progress has been made in last 5-7 days. Earliest sown Claire, Scout and Solstice are now at 2-3 leaves - crops generally emerging within 7-10 days of sowing.

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

Slugs: some foliar grazing now being found in fields not rolled after oilseed rape, especially in stonier/trashier areas - populations are generally still low, particularly on fields that have been disced/cultivated twice pre-drilling.

Weed control: because of heavy rain last week and where seed is less than 25mm deep, some planned pre-emergence applications are being applied at peri-emergence instead. Some severe crop damage been reported in Hampshire from some herbicides applied pre-emergence where shallow drilled.

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: If seedbeds are cloddy and the seed is not covered by 32 mm of settled soil, spraying with pendimethalin products will have to be delayed until post-emergence timing. Decisions for BYDV control will be needed shortly as early drilled wheat is at 2-3 leaf stage.

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 herbicide has been applied.

East Midlands: Forward crops at 2 leaf and some at one leaf but majority (probably 90%) still to emerge due to late drilling. Top soil dry, looks good but look an inch down and soil is very wet and like plasticine on heavier land making creating good seedbeds difficult.

Slugs: little or no damage and slug activity low, probably due to cultivations giving a good kill.

Weed control: blackgrass starting to emerge on odd fields even where pre em used (probably due to cloddy seedbed on heavy soil), but majority of blackgrass fields just drilled and pre ems on.

West Midlands: Approximately 80% of wheat now in, some farms are drilled up and sprayed up. Earliest crops are at 4 leaf stage. Maize harvest underway so another large block will go in after this, quite a few acres of spud ground still to lift. If weather stays as it is then majority will have finished by this time next week (leaving those with maize/spuds and beet to finish off). Fields have dried out extremely well, min till guys back on stream and with the capability of drilling 100 acres/day they should, with a bit of luck, be done by mid next week. Fields that were too wet to spray last week will easily travel this week. Of the 80% of wheat in approximately 65% has been sprayed .

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

Weed control: herbicide mixes have worked well so far in that volunteer oilseed rape is not getting past it this year. Cranesbill is pale but suspect it will come back.

North East: Most forward crops at GS 13 but 50 % of wheat only drilled in last few days. Had no rain at all in last 7 days . Drilling started again a few days ago and land is working progressively better every day. Seedbeds range from acceptable to good apart from some compacted headlands as land is still very wet just below surface.

Slugs: even after rape crops only low numbers have been found. Pellets being applied to some known high risk areas only.

Weed control: the weather inflicted pause in drilling has not been welcomed by farmers but it has allowed much better germination of blackgrass and all fields have been sprayed off now. This could result in a much less reliance on a high level of control from further treatments and an overall better result come next summer. Many crops had pre-emergence herbicide applied just before it rained and despite the seed being at a good depth there is a lot of leaf bleaching this year.

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Winter Barley

South East: Winter barley drilling now completed. Earliest sown crops now at around 2-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: Odd crop at 1 leaf but some still to be drilled.

West Midlands: All winter barley now in, approximately 15% sprayed to date. Most forward crops at the 3 leaf stage.

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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