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Very close up shot of wheat crop ears in field

Report: 22 October 2010 (for week beginning 18 October 2010)

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

Phoma: levels increase dramatically in South and East.

Phoma sprays urgent.

Aphids appear in oilseed rape crops.

Wheat drilling caught up:

Winter wheat drilling all but complete in most areas.

Slugs: still not causing a big problem activity still low.

Winter Oilseed Rape

image from FoL

Top - Phoma leaf spot
Middle - Phoma close up
Bottom - Leaf miner damage
Photo Farming Online.

South East: Crops range from 3 to 6-8 true leaves - bulk of crops are now around 4-5 true leaves.

Phoma: levels have increased substantially in many crops in last few days and affected crops now need treating URGENTLY, particularly as many crops are still not overly large. Infection now ranges from 10-50%.

Slugs: very little activity seen so far.

Aphids: first winged adults and odd wingless aphid now being found on most advanced crops as effects of seed dressings run out.

Turnip sawfly: no larvae seen as yet.

Weed control: blackgrass control looks hopeful so far.

South West: Many crops with 8 or more leaves and still motoring on. Crops which suffered from capping and slumping are now recovering strongly.

Phoma: many crops at threshold level and treatment well underway. The second half of this week has seen leaf spotting really take off. Vision and a HEAR variety, Roxanne, seem particularly affected.

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 in 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: most fields at treatable levels. We are spraying at the moment often mixed with a graminicide (where not previously applied), insecticide for cabbage stem flea beetle and a foliar feed. Considering a repeat application in 4 to 6 weeks time.

Slugs: a lot of rape is past the stage where slug grazing is a worry, we are treating heavier areas on some fields where populations are thin.

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

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: We have some fields with complete crop cover others 3 to 4 leaf stage. The slow growing rape on the lighter soils has begun to pick up a little in the drier conditions, but it has now turned showery and cold with more rain ahead. We believe the main problem is slumped soils following the heavy rainfall earlier in the autumn.

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: one or two growers are starting residual herbicide applications, but we generally feel we should wait for soil temperatures to fall further.

West Midlands: Crops range from cotyledon to 6 true leaves. Concerns over late sown crops ability to survive the winter.

Phoma: starting to appear, crops being sprayed as of Friday 15th October with more Monday and today of this week.

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

Leaf miner: common in many crops.

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

North East: Most crops in range 4-7 leaves. The major varieties drilled are Catana, Compass, Dimension, Excalibur, Fashion and Palace. Crops looking a bit 'battered' now after some colder nights and strong winds but are looking good for going into the winter period.

Phoma: the level of infection is extremely variable, ranging from very low level to 15% plant infection. A fungicide application is planned now as conditions permit to ensure some protection is in place before the weather prevents further field work.

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: earlier applied herbicide has given 70-80% control of blackgrass even in very high infestations of known 'challenging' blackgrass.

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Winter Wheat

image from FoL

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

South East: All wheats have now been sown - good progress and generally excellent seedbeds in last 10 days. Earliest sown Claire, Scout and Solstice now at GS13-21 - crops generally still 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: Blackgrass plants now emerged in all usual suspect fields ranging from 1-3 leaves.

South West: Emergence still occurring in around 10 days although drillings from now on will slow down. In reality there is very little wheat left to drill. Mid September drilled Claire now has 6 tillers. Some transient crop paling from pre ems seen which shows just how good uptake has been this season. Last few fields after maize are now being drilled into exceptional seed beds with well structured soils and almost no damage from maize harvesting machinery.

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

Slugs: damage still minimal, although a little surface grazing on the very few cloddy seed beds after rape.

Weed control: Some of the best control from pre ems for many years. What little blackgrass that has emerged is bleached and stressed from the pre em. Pre ems applied post em have definitely not reduced populations in the same way.

Eastern Counties: Early drilled wheat is at 2-3 leaf stage with crops ranging from still to emerge through to 3 leaf stage. Recent rains have held up field operations again.

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

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 95% wheat now in, most forward wheat is at GS 22. Majority of farms now drilled up, with just the guys drilling after maize (most will do this this week) and then wheat after fodder beet to go. Ground conditions have been ideal over the last week allowing the min till guys to steam on (500 acres in 7 days for one guy. But heavy rain Tuesday pm has brought them to a standstill again.

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

Frit fly: some frit damage on light land wheat after oats that warranted spraying. Also localised frit damage on some second wheat, not spraying as yet.

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 GS14-21, and latest only been drilled in last 7 days. The major varieties include Oakley, Viscount, Scout, Grafton, Cordiale and Duxford. There was no rain for 10 days and virtually all drilling completed. In last 7 days had 9mm rainfall locally but has been much more in north of region. On most farms all wheat is drilled and pre-emergence herbicides have been applied. Although surface is wet fields will travel well on a dry day.

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

Weed control: where meadow grass emerging plan is to apply a herbicide as conditions permit.

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Winter Barley

South East: All crops sown - growth stages range from just emerging to GS13+

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: Growth stages range from GS 13-21. 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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