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Very close up shot of wheat crop ears in field

Report: 13 May 2011 (for week beginning 09 May 2011)

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

Crops: have developed very quickly this year and are about ten days in advance of last year when winter wheat was just reaching flag leaf emergence in the second week of May. Rain at last for some and it is now turning some crops around. Elsewhere the situation remains critical. Light land crops which have received rain are still showing signs of drought stress and yield loss is inevitable in these crops. Rain has also brought out wheat blossom midge with sightings this week in the south and east. No reports of any aphids in cereals yet.

Headlines: Wheat blossom midge emerging - get the traps out.
Forward wheat crops at ear emergence.
Poor pod set in late flowering rape.
Winter barley beginning to flower.
Drought stress still common.
Frost damage in sugar beet.

Winter Oilseed Rape

image from FoL

Flower abortion common
in late flowering crops
Photo Farming Online.

South East: Some crops still at late flowering, but most now at the end of flowering, with pods filling. Some crops beginning to look very well, especially variety Ovation, while others on lighter soils have shown lots of flower abortion and those that were seriously water stressed finished flowering in around 2 weeks - not a good sign.

Sclerotinia: with most crops now at the end of flowering, risk of further sclerotinia infection conditions is rapidly declining. After dry conditions of 2007 and the level of Sclerotinia infection then, 2-spray prevention programmes have been maintained despite ongoing dry weather.

Seed weevil: very low levels so far.

South West: August drilled Excalibur is now green not yellow other varieties still flowering. There have been some worrying instances of poor pod set on the main raceme over a whole range of varieties. The one common thread appears to be drilling beyond early September and subsequent later flowering. Apart from this rape generally looks in very good order.

Sclerotinia: treatments now complete.

Seed weevil: very low levels so far.

Eastern Counties: Light land crops beginning to suffer dramatically with top pods now withering. Elsewhere pod set good - DK Cabernet still has a lot of flowers.

Sclerotinia: sprays for Sclerotinia now applied.

Seed weevil: high numbers in some crops.

East Midlands: Crops on the whole look well with some good potential now rain has arrived. Forward crops at late petal fall and greening over with later crop still approaching last quarter of flowering.

Sclerotinia: Sclerotinia sprays now all on.

Seed weevil: numbers vary from very low to just below threshold.

West Midlands: Earlier flowering crops now returning to green and pod set has been good in these crops. Late flowering crops are still yellow and now hoping the recent rain will help with pod set where to date there has been none.

Sclerotinia: treatments completed.

Seed weevil: none seen yet.

North East: The most forward crops are losing flower now and taking on a greener colour, but most are still in full flower. Generally, pod set looks good.

Sclerotinia: the second spray for Sclerotinia has been applied to some crops now, and the rest will be done over the next 7 days.

Seed weevil: high numbers in some crops.

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Winter Wheat

image from FoL

Midge make an early
appearance.
Photo Farming Online

South East: Rain at last! Finally, after two months without any significant rainfall most of our region here in the South enjoyed between 25-30mm of rain overnight on the 6th and 7th of May - what a difference that has made to appearance and development of all crops, which are finally taking on a more pleasing shade of green in response to N uptake. Inevitably, in response to the prolonged warm and dry conditions of March and April, crop growth has been accelerated as a combination of declining soil water supply and nutrient availability impacted on crop physiology - in much the same fashion as we experienced in April 2007. Despite the welcome rain, crops on all but the better soils, will have suffered an irreversible yield penalty due to substantial tiller loss. Wheat crops, almost irrespective of sowing date now, have raced ahead to GS 45-52, with ears now typically breaking the boot on main shoots. Soils have remained damp at surface all week following rain, but will need further rain this month if drought stress is not to reappear. T2 applications now underway around 14-18 days after T1 applications.

Mildew: low levels of fresh pustules noticeable on lower leaves/stems of thicker crops of Solstice, Gallant and JB Diego.

Brown rust: still none seen.

Yellow rust: no further outbreaks.

Septoria: despite seemingly dry conditions, now visible on tip of leaf 4 in earliest sown crops of Claire and Scout, indicating a degree of leaf to leaf transmission through dews.

Eyespot: recent rain may cause some disease progression.

Blossom midge: first signs of orange wheat blossom midge - don't recall midge emerging this early before.

South West: Except on the heavier moisture retentive soils wheat is looking drought stressed with curled leaves and tiller loss. J B Diego on light land looks especially bad. On sheltered and coastal sites early varieties such as Grafton and Gallant have the ear just starting to emerge. Any crops which had delayed N applications look poor through lack of uptake. In some cases the crop was booting 10 days after a T1 treatment which is likely to throw remaining timings into disarray. Wheat can produce an acceptable yield down to 400 heads /sq metre - we must have rain in May for grain development.

Mildew: building up on stressed crops.

Brown rust: none seen.

Yellow rust: any spray misses on susceptible varieties are riddled with yellow rust.

Septoria: confined to older leaves.

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 marching on and now at booting to early ear emergence. Very little rain to date and conditions remain extremely dry with crops under significant drought stress on light land. Irrigation underway in places.

Mildew: present and still active in some forward crops.

Brown rust: none seen.

Yellow rust: no reports of re-infection yet on any treated crops.

Septoria: present in a number of varieties, notably Viscount and Oakley but remains on lower leaves.

Eyespot: low levels.

Blossom midge: quite a few appearing in crops this week.

East Midlands: Forward crops at ear in boot to emerging - majority of crops at flag fully emerged and later crops at flag just emerging. One of the earliest seasons seen with ear emerging some 10 days before normal. After some 19mm rain crops have responded by greening up but stressed areas still show on lighter soils with paler crops and stunted growth more rain will be welcome.

Mildew: earlier fungicide treatments prevented any development.

Yellow rust: treated crops remain clean.

Septoria: all leaves generally clear and majority of crops will have flag emerged when T2 goes on so should be good coverage.

Eyespot: stems have remained very clean.

Blossom midge: none seen yet.

West Midlands: A lot of crops at booting stage to early ear emergence. Others are now all at flag leaf emergence. 25-30 mm of rain over the last week is beginning to turn crops around but those on the lighter land still looked stressed with tiller loss obvious and lower canopy with shriveled leaves. Crops on lighter land which have received no fungicides to date, because of the drought, still remain free of disease.

Mildew: worse on JB Diego.

Brown rust: none seen.

Yellow rust: none in treated crops.

Septoria: visible on older leaves but many crops clean down to leaf 4.

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

Blossom midge: none seen yet.

North East: Crops have developed very rapidly in last 7 days with many first wheat crops at GS 39, and remarkably even the later sown crops have the flag leaf emerging (GS 35). Some rain at last but right on the coast the amounts have been disappointing with only a total of 10mm locally so far this week. It is falling as isolated showers so within the area there are still places that have virtually none, and the situation for them is getting more critical if yield penalties are to be avoided.

Yellow rust: T0 and T1 treatments have done a good job, but there is still a little active rust in a few crops of Oakley and Robigus.

Septoria: lesions still confined to older leaves and no new infection seen, but recent showers will have spread infection into the crop canopy. Viscount has quite a lot of infection on older leaves.

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: All crops now mostly at GS 51-59. T2 fungicides now mostly been applied.

South West: Early varieties such as Carat are at 66% ear emerged. Winter barley generally looks good at the moment but some rain would help!

Eastern Counties: Crops at awn emergence. Second fungicide applications underway.

East Midlands: All crops have awns out now but rain came too late to save stressed tillers on lighter soils - now T2 fungicide is on gate will be basically shut.

West Midlands: Crops beginning to flower and remain free of disease. Light land crops have suffered and look bleached even after the rain.

North East: Awns fully emerged in many crops now and ears coming through. The later sown crops are at early awn emergence. Very little disease present.

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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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