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Very close up shot of wheat crop ears in field

Report: 29 October 2010 (for week beginning 25 October 2010)

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

Phoma: levels are very high in the South and East.

Phoma sprays urgent.

Aphids appear in oilseed rape crops.

Wet weather disease: beginning to appear in winter barley crops.

Rhynchosporium in winter barley.

Mildew: in early sown Claire.

Slug: 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 leaves to 6-8 true leaves - bulk of crops are now around 6 true leaves.

Phoma: almost all crops (80%+) have now reached Phoma infection thresholds for spraying (ie. >10% leaf spotting). Vision appears particularly heavily infected - 50% + plants infected with multi-spotting on some leaves, with lower levels on more resistant varieties such as ES Alienor and Ovation (10-20%). Most crops have now been sprayed at beginning of the week. Any unsprayed crops now need spraying urgently, as with return of milder weather plants are at risk of developing Phoma stem infections if left untreated . Unlike last 2 years susceptible 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.

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: much in evidence although levels very variable from farm to farm or even field to field. Astrid and Alienor least affected although they are approaching threshold.

Slugs: very low levels. Only sporadic damage seen.

Weed control: Charlock only suppressed by initial herbicide. Surviving blackgrass scheduled for residual herbicide plus graminicide when soils are consistently at 8 deg. C at 10 cms.

Eastern Counties: Plants have grown well over the last week, it seems as if many of the crops which showed poor early vigour have now responded to the nitrogen applications. Continued wet weather has meant that any soil structural problems have shown up in impeding crop growth. Some soils slumped in the surface layers, on ploughed fields the top 20-25cm were well structured but on some fields the rape plants have now reached the bottom of the ploughed layer and are slowing up and showing some signs of stress (early leaf loss, purpling).

Phoma: almost every plant infected in some fields which are adjacent to last year's rape fields. Have now sprayed all fields for the first time. New leaves are free from phoma, some of the oldest leaves have 10+ phoma spots but these old leaves are now senescing.

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.

Slugs: all crops now well established and past the threat from slugs.

Weed control: poppies have come through herbicide treatment but not in great numbers and most are still small.

East Midlands: Crops are quite varied with some crops at 6-8 leaves but vast majority at 3-4 leaves, some at 4-5 leaves.

Phoma: started to come in this last week, wet weather now may allow few spray days and phoma to take hold.

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, still no crops at threshold level.

Leaf miner: obvious in many crops.

Slugs: still no major issues but some late crops are at cotyledon stage on heavy land and grazing is evident.

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

North East: Most crops in the range 5-8 leaves. A few are very big now with total ground cover. The crops that have been 'sub-soiled' in, have also established well but are a little smaller than the conventionally established crops.

Phoma: level of infection is extremely variable, ranging from very low level to 30% plant infection. There has been a very rapid rise in the level over the last 7-10 days. Virtually all crops have been treated and the rest will be done as soon as conditions permit. If the weather stays mild will monitor again in about 4 weeks to check for re-infection.

Light leaf spot: a few lesions seen.

Slugs: all non-inversion seedbeds are very high risk, 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 will be checked over next 14 days for levels of blackgrass.

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Winter Wheat

image from FoL

Good emergence in early
sown crops.
Photo Farming Online.

South East: All wheats have been sown, with earliest sown Claire, Scout and Solstice now at GS 21, later sown crops now generally emerging around 10 to 14 days after sowing.

Slugs: in areas where there is obvious leaf shredding pellets are being applied but in general pellet use has been exceedingly low this autumn.

Weed control: blackgrass plants now emerging/emerged in all usual suspect fields ranging from 1-3 leaves and it is still emerging in cobblier and less consolidated seedbeds. Where pre-emergence treatments have been used, most smaller plants are showing signs of control, but there are already some obvious escapees.

South West: Drilling virtually complete except behind grain maize and late grazed grass where cattle left out to save on straw stocks. Seed beds still very good.

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

Slugs: damage still minimal and high levels of predatory carabid beetles in evidence. Pelleting levels as low as I can recall.

Mildew: early sown Claire now carrying high levels of mildew.

Weed control: blackgrass has come through late applied pre-emergence herbicides.

Eastern Counties: Drilling complete in most instances except behind beet. The early sown crops now at early tillering but still a lot to emerge.

Slugs: grazing reduced following recent frosty weather.

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

East Midlands: Forward crops at GS 12-13 some at GS 11 and later crops still to emerge. Only crops to drill are those after maize. After recent rain soils sticky rather than wet - fieldwork difficult on heavy soils after some good conditions last week which saw drilling finished apart from maize fields.

Slugs: some renewed activity with leaf shredding in some areas.

Weed control: most blackgrass generally at 1 leaf with some approaching 2 leaves.

West Midlands: Approximately 95% of wheat now in, most forward at GS 22. Majority of farms now drilled up except where following maize.

Slugs: some activity this week in cloddy areas.

Frit fly: some frit damage on light land wheat after oats that warranted spraying, also localised damage on some second wheat.

Weed control: all post emergence sprayed crops showing a degree of scorch, light land the worst.

North East: Most crops in range GS 11-21, but latest drilled are just emerging. Time from drilling to emerging has extended to about 21 days now. Generally, crops are emerging very evenly. Another 9mm rainfall in last 7 days has softened some seedbeds and allowed seedlings to come through now. Fields are a bit muddy in tramlines but will travel OK on a dry day. The rain prevented timely application of some pre-emergence herbicides which were applied as soon as conditions permitted. Most crops have shown no ill effects but a few are quite badly scorched and now have a distinctly brown tinge to them 2 weeks after spraying. This effect should not get any worse and the crops will gradually retain their normal colour.

Slugs: significant activity seen in a few crops after rape. Pellets being applied, with priority being given to emerging crops.

Weed control: all pre-emergence herbicides have been applied now.

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Winter Barley

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

South West: Crops at 1 to 2 leaves with earlier sowings tillering. High levels of Rhynchosporium in forward Cassia.

Eastern Counties: Crops range from yet to emerge through to early tillering. Traces of net-blotch present in early drilled crops particularly Casatta, Pearl and second barley crops.

East Midlands: Odd crop at 1 leaf but some still to be drilled.

West Midlands: All winter barley now in, approximately 40% sprayed to date. Most forward crops at early tillering.

North East: Most crops in the range GS 13-21, but still a few to emerge yet. Most fields travelling ok as long as surface is reasonably dry. Crops generally have good colour apart from areas along some headlands where there is some compaction and more reaction to the pre-emergence herbicide. This will be a transient effect. Most crops are disease free.

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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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