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Very close up shot of wheat crop ears in field

Report: 05 November 2010 (for week beginning 01 November 2010)

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

Another mild week: allows crops to continue to grow.
Drilling nears completion.
Slugs activity still low.

Phoma: be prepared to spray twice.
Keep checking treated crops.

Aphids appear in oilseed rape crops.

Rhynchosporium: in winter barley.

Mildew: in early sown Claire.

Soil Protection Review: Remember that the format has changed this year, and under cross-compliance you are required to complete the form by 31st December 2010. Farmers risk losing 5% of their SFP if they fail to complete the review on time. Click here to download a copy

Winter Oilseed Rape

image from FoL

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

South East: Bulk of crops are now at 5-6 true leaves. Mild weather in last 10 days has encouraged additional growth with most crops putting out another leaf or so.

Phoma: 90%+ crops have reached Phoma infection thresholds for spraying (ie. >10% Leaf spotting) and all crops now been treated. Vision appeared 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%). Unlike last 2 years susceptible varieties may need more than one spray this autumn but no new infection seen to date.

Aphids: more winged adults and an occasional colony of wingless aphids now being found on most advanced crops as effects of seed dressings run out.

Weed control: blackgrass where contact herbicide has been applied either alone or with post-emergence herbicides in general control looks outstanding (95%+) even where populations looked more like a new ley!

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 thus more needed later. Surviving blackgrass scheduled for residual herbicide plus graminicide when soils are consistently at 8 deg. C at 10 cms.

Eastern Counties: A mild week has seen crops continuing to grow and the majority now look well with plenty of leaf and ground cover to go into the winter and keep the pigeons at bay. Some light land crops still showing unusual mottling, yellowing and there has been some suggestion that sulphur deficiency is showing up

Phoma: all crops have been treated once and new leaves are free from phoma , some of the oldest leaves have 10+ phoma spots but these old leaves are now senescing. We are currently inspecting crops for fresh lesions and will respond accordingly.

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

Weed control: weather has been ideal for contact herbicide activity, cereals have been rapidly and easily controlled. Poppies have come through even split applications of herbicide but not in great numbers and most are still small.

East Midlands: Crops slowing down a bit and forward crops at 7-9 leaves and majority at 4-5 leaves.

Phoma: can be seen in many crops on older bottom leaves but all crops sprayed and top leaves clear so far.

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 one to 6 true leaf. Crops have greened up a lot with the milder weather.

Phoma: majority of crops have been treated and new growth remains clear of disease.

Slugs: still no major issues but some late crops where at cotyledon stage on heavy land grazing is 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: 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. Most crops now treated.

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 will be checked over next 14 days for levels of blackgrass which need further treatment.

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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 GS21-22+ - later sown crops now generally emerging in around 10 days again now following a week of very mild weather.

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 - where pre-emergence treatments been used, most smaller plants showing signs of control, but are already some obvious escapees. Blackgrass is still emerging in cobblier and less consolidated seedbeds, so will wait a further 10 days or so before considering spraying these. Significant flush of cleavers after oilseed rape.

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: where 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. 15 mm rain in previous week has made landwork difficult and unfeasible in many instances. Soil temperature 8-10 deg C.

Mildew: present in susceptible varieties - notably Claire.

Slugs: grazing reduced following recent frosty weather.

Weed control: some blackgrass now at three leaf stage where no pre-emergence has been applied.

East Midlands: Forward crops at GS 13 but majority of crops at GS 11-12 with many later crops just emerging. Fields very sticky and drilling slowed on heavier soils. Progress of drilling after maize and potatoes very slow with all fields being required to be ploughed

Slugs: remain active on a small scale on cloddy areas but generally very little damage and slug pelleting requirement minimal.

Weed control: most blackgrass at 1-2 leaves and treatment will go on as forward blackgrass reaches 3 leaves to allow majority to have emerged. On later drilled crops blackgrass emergence is slow and where pre ems on, these may be enough to hold the blackgrass on late crops.

West Midlands: Approximately 95% wheat now in - most forward wheat is at GS 22. Majority of farms now drilled up except where following maize. Field conditions still very good with spraying continuing apace, if conditions continue as they are I would like to think that all wheat will have been sprayed by the end of next week (bar any left after late lifted beet). Majority of farms are already sprayed up.

Mildew: trace levels in Solstice.

Slugs: some activity this week in 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: all post emergence sprayed crops showing some bleaching of older leaves and more noticeable on light land.

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 should gradually retain their normal colour.

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

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

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Winter Barley

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

South East: All crops sown - growth stages range from GS 12 to GS 22 with rapid growth this week from hybrid varieties in particular.

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: Crops mainly at the two leaf stage but some beginning to tiller. No diseases present yet.

West Midlands: Most forward crops at early tillering and remain free of disease with the exception of Maris Otter. Mildew and Rhynchosporium present in these crops.

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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