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Very close up shot of wheat crop ears in field

Report: 15 April 2011 (for week beginning 11 April 2011)

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

Continuing dry conditions: are now causing problems on lighter land with winter wheat losing tillers. Cracks are appearing on some heavier soils too although no reports of crop stress on these soil types yet. Many wheat crops now approaching the T1 fungicide timing decision with final leaf three emerging. Disease levels remain low.
Flag leaf emergence on winter barley won't be far away.
Winter oilseed rape flowering albeit slowly in some areas. Sclerotinia sprays planned.
Bean weevil in spring beans.
Weather forecast suggests no sign of rain until mid May. We can only hope that by making this statement it will prove us completely wrong!

Winter Oilseed Rape

image from FoL

Crops starting to flower.
Photo Farming Online.

South East: Growth stages range from yellow bud to early flowering now and all crops are continuing to develop rapidly. Pigeon grazed crops now racing away from our grey feathered pests, and beginning to recover fairly well now.

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.

Pollen beetle: numbers seem to have declined over the last week.

South West: Earliest crops now well into flowering. Subsequent inspection of those crops treated for pollen beetle reveals significant flower abortion in unsprayed areas. IRAG advises not to use follow on doses of pyrethroids on OSR to reduce resistance build up.

Sclerotinia: treatments now imminent.

Pollen beetle: numbers declining.

Eastern Counties: Rape rapidly coming into flower variety DK Cabernet noticeably behind just coming into flower. Rape on infertile or very light sites in particular quite spindly and quickly ran through stem extension - it now urgently needs rain for nitrogen uptake. Many fields are very uneven.

Sclerotinia: planning Sclerotinia sprays for flowering period.

Pollen beetle: flowers now open on all fields no more pollen beetle spraying required. There had been quite a lot of damage before we sprayed especially on DK Cabernet.

East Midlands: First crops starting to flower with majority of crops at yellow bud to first flowers - pigeon damaged crops at green to yellow bud.

Sclerotinia: control recommendations made for early flowering.

Pollen beetle: numbers declining.

West Midlands: Buds showing to early flowers. Good crops now shoulder height and yellow (approximately 30-40% flowers). Crops on lighter land are spindly and in need of rain.

Sclerotinia: treatments planned to coincide with early to mid flowering.

Pollen beetle: numbers dropped towards the end of last week.

North East: Most forward crops are well in flower with a few pods visible as petals fall away. DK Cabernet is notably late to flower.

Sclerotinia: treatment planned for early petal fall.

Pollen beetle: numbers seem to have declined this week, and many crops have come into flower.

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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 at GS 31+ with final leaf 3 now 75%+ emerged on main shoots with tip of leaf 2 just showing in more advanced/fertile situations. September sown Claire and Scout have moved steadily in last week and are now at GS 30-31 with leaf 4 mostly emerged and leaf 3 around 10% emerged on main shoots. Early October sown crops now also around GS 30-31 with tip of leaf 3 emerging. With yet more warm and dry weather predicted in the next week there will be further rapid growth, though crops on lighter soils really could do with a rain now. T1 timings are going to be around a week early this year, though disease pressure is very low.

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

Mildew: low levels of fresh pustules noticeable on lower leaves of thicker and lusher crops of Solstice and even Gallant - also some evident on lower leaves of any crops on lighter soils where nitrogen uptake/availability has been delayed.

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: Wheat crops now green and lush although concern is mounting over moisture availability on lighter land. Most crops still at GS 31 except for earlier drillings in mild areas which are at GS 32 with tip to one third of leaf 3 visible. It is unlikely that the majority of nitrogen has been taken up so we are watchful for a spell of very rapid growth if/when significant rain arrives. Spraying and fertiliser operations continue largely unhindered by the weather apart from a bit of wind mid week.

Septoria: confined to older leaves.

Mildew: NO new infection.

Brown rust: none seen.

Yellow rust: none seen.

Eyespot: not progressing in the current dry weather.

Weed control: minor flush of polygnums in some crops especially on frost weathered clays.

Eastern Counties: Crops approaching GS 31 with leaf three just begining to emerge. Windy conditions have limited spraying opportunities over the last week. Ground conditions dry.

Septoria: present in a number of varieties, notably Viscount and Oakley.

Mildew: present and active in forward crops.

Brown rust: none seen.

Yellow rust: significant levels pre-treatment in susceptible varieties such as Oakley, Robigus, lower levels on Viscount, Conqueror and occassionaly Solstice. No reports of re-infection yet on any treated crops.

Eyespot: low levels.

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

East Midlands: Forward crops at GS 31 with final leaf 4 out, remainder at leaf 4 emerging and late crops at GS 30+. Expect GS 32 to be in about 7-10 days in forward crops. Soils dry - again no rain in last week apart from light shower. Heavier soils cracking.

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

Mildew: levels remain low with none on new growth, apart from some late drilled Claire.

Yellow rust: levels around us remain low.

Eyespot: with the dry conditions, levels remain very low - as low as I have seen them in many seasons with only odd plants or fields with some browning of stems.

Weed control: cleavers growing happily away.

West Midlands: Early sown Humber has final leaf 2 emerging. Quite a lot of wheat is now pushing leaf 3 out. Solstice although very tall is only just pushing out leaf 3, second wheat Diego today looks like end of tillering also has leaf 3 pushing through. It is very very dry. Light land wheat is now losing tillers. Some now irrigating wheat.

Septoria: visible on older leaves only.

Mildew: very variable and does not appear to be related to variety or sowing date or soil type.

Brown rust: none seen.

Yellow rust: high levels found in untreated crop of Oakley.

Eyespot: early sown Humber and JB Diego has some rather nice lesions with some having penetrated through the outer leaf sheath.

North East: The dry conditions are restricting crop growth but they are continuing to develop and most forward crops are now at GS 31-32. Later sown crops are fully tillered now and only a few not yet at GS 30. There has been no rainfall at all over the last 7 days, but little drought stress being shown so far. Some of the second wheats look the most in need of some rain.

Septoria: much less obvious now, as all new leaf is clean.

Brown rust: none seen.

Yellow rust: none seen.

Eyespot: lesions are easy to find on outer leaf sheaths of early sown varieties but the dry conditions have stopped aggressive penetrating symptoms developing.

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Winter Barley

South East: Steady crop growth, with crops of Cassata now mostly at GS 31-32, and most other crops/varieties still at around GS30-31.

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: Now at GS 32-33 and growing rapidly. We anticipate flag leaf and subsequent awn emergence will be late April.

Eastern Counties: Crops approaching GS 31/2. First fungicide now applied to all crops.

East Midlands: Crops at GS 30 and some look stressed.

West Midlands: Most crops approaching GS 32 and expect the flag leaf to start appearing within the next 7-10 days. Disease levels remain low in most crops.

North East: Many crops at GS 32 now, and expect to see flag leaf emerging within 10 days in an early variety like Carat. In a normal year would apply PGR as flag leaf is emerging but under drought conditions crop growth will be too severely restricted and late secondary tillering can be a serious problem. Disease levels remain low. 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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