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Report: 08 April 2011 (for week beginning 04 April 2011)

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

Dry conditions: causing some concern especially on lighter soils as winter wheat begins to shed tillers. No sign of much rain over the coming weeks, according to the Met Office, does not bode well.

Winter Oilseed Rape: Pollen beetle numbers fluctuate wildly depending on the day time temperatures but are expected to climb again over this weekend. Backward crops will need monitoring but forward crops will start to flower rapidly now.

Pollen Beetle control thresholds
Winter oilseed rape;
- 15 pollen beetles/plant in well grown crops that can compensate for damage by producing more and larger seeds in lower pods.
- 5 pollen beetles/plant in backward crops, e.g. ones that have suffered frost or pigeon damage.

Control - preliminary results from the Insecticide Resistance Action Committee (IRAC) indicate that 90% of UK samples are susceptible to pyrethroids, showing a reduction in resistance since 2007 when 70% of UK samples were susceptible.

Click for HGCA leaflet.


: Pollen Beetle keep monitoring backward crops.
Oilseed rape first flowers.
Prepare for Sclerotinia control.

Cereals: Final leaf 3 emerging on forward wheat.
Yellow rust in wheat first signs in the west.
Brown rust on barley in south west.

Spring beans: Bean weevil in emerging spring beans.

Winter Oilseed Rape

image from FoL

Pollen beetle still active.
Photo Farming Online.

South East: Growth stages range from green bud to first flowers (ES Alienor) and all crops are growing rapidly with another run of milder days and nights. Pigeons now much less of a problem and even some backward canopies are beginning to recover fairly well now.

Pollen beetle: numbers seem to have declined over the last week as adults disperse to nearby crops with open flowers, but have still been at threshold levels in more backward crops, with 5-10 beetles/plant being found.

Sclerotinia: with some crops beginning to flower now, and soil temperatures at around 10 deg.C. and with moisture, would expect to see apothecia appear in next week and spores begin to be found at monitoring sites. This has all the hallmarks of a high risk Sclerotinia year.

South West: Forward crops of Excalibur have first few pods set on main raceme. Growth has been spectacular in the warm conditions. On the earliest crops split treatments will probably be necessary. Some stem cracking due to rapid growth is apparent.

Pollen beetle: very high populations - in some cases over 100 per plant have been treated.

Sclerotinia: reports of first Sclerotinia spore germination so close attention must be paid to timings for this critical disease.

Eastern Counties: Rape continuing to move rapidly into stem extension, flower buds proud on several crops noticeably in the varieties which are earlier to flower (DK Cabernet is one of the last varieties to move into stem extension). Stem extension fungicides for their growth regulatory effect as well are now being applied.

Pollen beetle: entered the crop two weeks ago in large numbers and have varied ever since, with some cold nights and windy days. The majority of rape crops are at or approaching yellow bud and will need to be monitored for pollen beetle. However, reports of re-treatment underway in some crops.

East Midlands: Crops now growing vigorously despite lack of rain and most crops at yellow bud to first flowers with pigeon damaged crops at green bud. As flowering starts magnesium deficiency found in one crop and have heard reports of deficiencies being found in Lincolnshire - coming in quick in some cases.

Pollen beetle: the windy cooler weather reduced numbers but reports of high numbers now with warm weather.

West Midlands: Flowering just starting on forward crops whilst backward ones remain at bud proud stage. Some concern at how short the dwarf varieties are, barely reaching above the ankle in some fields.

Pollen beetle: numbers dropped towards the end of last week but are picking up again now with rising temperatures. Backward crops will need monitoring on a regular basis.

North East: Crops currently range from green bud to yellow bud, to early flower. All crops are growing very quickly now and have shown significant stem extension this week.

Pollen beetle: numbers well above threshold seen in some crops at green bud stage last week, especially in northern part of the region. This week numbers have dropped off to well below levels needed for treatment.

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Winter Wheat

image from FoL

Yellow rust and mildew
on Oakley 5 April 11
Photo Farming Online

South East: September sown crops of Gallant, Cordiale and Solstice now between GS 30-31 with leaf 4 now 75%+ emerged on main shoots with tip of leaf 3 showing. September sown Claire and Scout have moved rapidly in last week and are now at GS 30+ with leaf 4 50-75% emerged on main shoots. Early October sown crops now also around GS 30 with leaf 4 emerging rapidly. With further warm weather predicted in next week expect further rapid growth as crops respond to applied N. At this rate T1 timings look as though they could be early. Soils remaining moist for now, but drying rapidly on surface.

Septoria: obvious on oldest leaves, but all newer leaves appear very clean to date.

Mildew: noticeable on older leaves of thicker crops of Solstice in particular - very little renewed activity to date, but with soft and rapid growth now happening suspect it won't be long before mildew gets going again.

Brown rust: still none seen.

Yellow rust: still none seen.

Eyespot: only very low levels noted to date - dry March has not been favourable.

Weed control: significant flush of cleavers now in some fields after oilseed rape in particular.

South West: Crops are rapidly loosing their "40 shades of green appearance" as N uptake and chlorophyll deposition accelerates. GS 31 now common and later drilled crops accumulating leaf and rapidly progressing to GS 30. Early drilled in southerly aspect coastal areas have tip of leaf 3 emerging.

Septoria: a lot of Septoria on old leaves of susceptible varieties.

Mildew: starting to kick off in a few forward crops of susceptible varieties.

Brown rust: none seen.

Yellow rust: none seen.

Eyespot: levels low except in early drilled Solstice.

Weed control: spring applied SU herbicides have stressed some crops.

Eastern Counties: Early drilled wheat has received their T0 nearly 2 weeks ago and are pushing on to GS 31, these early wheat have greened up with the uptake of applied N and soil N. At present they look in good heart with several tillers and little disease present. Second and continuous wheat is now receiving a T0 application, but there is still wheat that is 5-7 days away from any treatment and are lacking in tillers.

Septoria: present in a number of varieties, notably Viscount and Oakley, treatable on some forward crops.

Mildew: present and active in forward crops.

Brown rust: none seen.

Yellow rust: significant levels developing in susceptible varieties - Oakley, Robigus, Viscount, Conqueror and Solstice.

Eyespot: low levels.

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

East Midlands: Generally crops at GS 30 with a few at GS 30+. Growth variable with some lighter soils showing effects of 5 weeks of little or no rain. Heavier soils look well but all crops only just putting out new roots. Most crops could not be considered over thick with backward crops in danger of not setting tillers if it remains dry. Top of soil dry - rain varied with some getting a good shower and some areas none at all - measured only 4.5 mm.

Septoria: still no change with dry weather keeping it on older lower leaves.

Mildew: dry conditions and some night frosts have kept it in check with nothing on upper leaves of crops.

Yellow rust: levels around us remain low but all risk crops have T0 on now.

Eyespot: dry weather will slow down any development.

Weed control: cleavers growing happily away.

West Midlands: Suddenly finding a lot of early sown crops have shot on to GS 31 with main shoot on early sown Humber pushing out leaf 3. Any rainfall during the last week has been very sporadic and localised, those that have had rain over the last week adds up to approximately 3-4 mm. Records on some farms show only 8mm of rain since the beginning of March and with high temperatures evapotranspiration rates are rapidly drying out some lighter soils. Light land wheat crops are starting to lose tillers (particularly where N is coming totally from the bag). Some talk of irrigating wheat crops if rain doesn't arrive soon.

Septoria: visible on older leaves only.

Mildew: fertile land still showing visible mildew.

Brown rust: none seen.

Yellow rust: traces found on some crops of Oakley in Shropshire and Hereford.

Eyespot: low levels only.

Weed control: crops recovering colour after applications of SU herbicides in the dry.

North East: Some crops of Viscount, Robigus, Duxford and Cordiale at GS 30 (ear at 1cm), and a few GS 31. All other crops fully tillered and will be GS 30 within 7 days. Crops are looking much better following 11mm of rain in last 7 days as nutrient uptake is much greater now. There have been enough good spraying days for all work to be up to date.

Septoria: all susceptible varieties have symptoms on older leaves, and often at a high level in early sown crops.

Mildew: none seen.

Brown rust: none seen.

Yellow rust: none seen.

Eyespot: symptoms becoming more evident.

Weed control: a few more areas identified this week for treatment. Earlier applications seem to be working well, but historical results means that 100% control is not expected in some fields.

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Winter Barley

South East: Crop growth has been very rapid this week, with crops of Cassata moving from GS 29-30 to GS 31 in a matter of days, and most other crops/varieties at around GS30-31 now.

Brown rust: pustules appearing rapidly in warmer weather over last 2 weeks on lower leaves of Boost and Volume in particular.

Mildew: developing but net blotch and Rhynchosporium levels remain low.

South West: Earliest crops now at GS 31 and fungicide programmes under way.

Eastern Counties: Crops approaching GS 30.

Mildew: obvious in some crops especially in coastal areas.

Net blotch: developing in all crops.

East Midlands: Crops at GS 29 - expect GS 30 in early April but are not growing rapidly. Very little disease present.

West Midlands: Most crops approaching GS 31. Disease levels remain low in most crops although mildew is evident in lusher ones.

North East: Since the rain crops have developed very quickly and most now at GS31. They have picked up nitrogen now and have greened up properly in last 7 days. Overall disease levels remain low.

Rhynchosporium: significant levels seen in early sown susceptible varieties, particularly Cassia and Carat, but its development has been curtailed by the dry conditions. The hybrid varieties Volume and Element are notable for having virtually no disease present at all.

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Spring Beans

: Crops emerging rapidly and straight into the path of bean weevils.

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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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