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Very close up shot of wheat crop ears in field

Report: 10 November 2011 (for week beginning 31 October 2011)

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

Phoma: levels slowly increasing

Powdery mildew: on oilseed rape

Slug: damage still remains rare

Mildew: in some winter barley crops and the occasional early sown wheat

Winter Oilseed Rape

South East: Crops range from 5-6 leaves to 9-10 true leaves - bulk of crops are around 6-7 true leaf stage, and are all still growing quite rapidly due to ongoing mild day and night weather. Most advanced and vigorous crops have had PGR applied in last 2-3 weeks for PGR of growing points.

Aphids: Myzus persicae are very hard to find this year despite mild weather, however did see several winged adults near coast early this week.

Slugs: good seedbeds and dry soils have minimised problems to date.

Phoma: most crops still remain completely free of infection to date - with such a late onset of visual infection coupled with the large size of many canopies/plants, this should now only be a 1-spray Phoma season for many crops.

Weed control: blackgrass- worst fields still planned to have soil acting herbicide applied when soils sufficiently cool and rape canopies open up sufficiently - probably not before late November or December.

Eastern Counties: Lighter land crops continue to look well with plenty of foliage and very large leaves; they have not started to run at all. The re-drilled crops also have established well and are now at about the 6 leaf stage and a size we would typically expect to see rape by November even though they were drilled 3 weeks later than the original crop. Some crops grown on heavier soils have begun to look stressed with older leaves turning purple; this is more noticeable where no autumn N has been applied. Growth across the field is also uneven and some of the purpling is down to poor rooting in the exceptionally dry conditions. Many crops also appear drought stressed with deep bluey green foliage. Early drilled crops have a lot of powdery mildew especially where the plants are stressed.

Flea beetle: damage only seen where untreated seed has been used.

Slugs: activity extremely low most crops are now well past the vulnerable stage.

Powdery mildew: seen fairly extensively in early drilled forward.

Phoma: can be found on most crops this week especially those close to an old rape stubble. Levels are low but slowly increasing.

Weed control: Charlock now flowering above the crop, generally levels are low and not competitive.

East Midlands: Crops continue to grow as if it were spring. The majority of crops look well with most at 6-9 leaves.

Flea beetle: only slight damage seen in one crop where no seed dressing.

Slugs: crops out of danger of any damage now.

Phoma: levels remain extremely low.

Weed control: blackgrass is growing as rapidly as the rape.

West Midlands: Crops range from 1 - 2 true leaf through to 9 true leaves. At last the rains have been sufficient to get drought stricken crops moving and the continued mild weather has helped these crops establish.

Flea beetle: quite bad on late germinating/thin crops.

Slugs: still none seen.

Leaf miner: damage has been quite severe in some areas, but no new signs.

Phoma: still no sign of disease yet even on forward or close rotation crops.

North East: The rape crops are growing even quicker than the cereals, with many crops almost touching in the rows despite being drilled between 500-750 mm spacing. I have lost count of how many leaves they have, but many crops are into double figures now.

Flea beetle: some activity seen, but not damaging.

Slugs: no more activity seen in last 7 days despite the rain making much better conditions for slug activity.

Phoma: for the first time this Autumn Phoma was easy to find in some crops of Compass, but it is still well below threshold level. Excalibur in the same region was still clear of visible infection.

Weed control: earlier applied herbicide has controlled only a proportion of the blackgrass, but it has been useful, especially if the grass was only 1 to 2 leaves at the time of application.

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Winter Wheat

South East: Drilling of first and second wheats all completed. Earliest sown wheats now at GS22+, though bulk of crops are at GS 13-21, with later sown fields at around 1 leaf. Wet in places now having had up to 3 inches of rain in last 7 days.

Gout fly: very little evidence of new egg laying despite warm weather.

Slugs: following recent rain there has been a slight increase in foliar shredding.

Weed control: follow up applications of Atlantis or GF2070 applications now being made where blackgrass has started tillering within the field, otherwise applications will be delayed until the second half of November.

Eastern Counties: Very early sown wheats generally have 6/7+ tillers but are quite uneven with areas of the crop only at one or two leaves. Majority of wheats are between 4 leaves to 2 or 3 tillers. Patches are beginning to fill in, with the backwards areas at 1 leaf.

Brown rust: first signs of disease on Claire, Grafton, and Hereford.

Mildew: beginning to develop on early sown Claire and Solstice.

Slugs: still only very low levels.

Aphids: no increase on last week.

Weed control: mixed levels of blackgrass control. Previous dry conditions haven't helped. Poor levels of cranesbill control in places.

East Midlands: Forward crops at GS 21 but vast majority at 14-21 with rapid growth in mild conditions. Patchier crops now beginning to green up a bit after recent rain.

Slugs: damage remains very low with no problems.

Mildew: levels remain low.

Weed control: Level of pre-em control of blackgrass has been variable from very good to disappointing depending on where rain showers went.

West Midlands: Most forward crops now at the two to three tiller stage, although these are rare. Most crops are at the two to three leaf stage. Crops which had sat ungerminated in dry soils are now starting to emerge and fields which had appeared patchy are at long last begriming to fill in.

Gout fly: no further increase in numbers of eggs.

Slugs: very little damage seen so far.

Aphids: no new recent sightings.

Mildew: levels have reduced recently.

Weed control: a flush of oilseed rape in some crops and recent rain and mild conditions has encouraged other broad leaved weed to emerge.

North East: It's been a warm week and with plenty of moisture in the ground crops are growing strongly. September sown crops are at GS22-24, and the later sown range from GS11-13. There was only 8mm rainfall in last 7 days so fields are traveling well, but it has been overcast and damp, showery or windy so little field traveling has actually been accomplished. No obvious disease present in crops.

Slugs: no new problems found this week. Only slight grazing on emerged crops been seen.

Aphids: Rothamsted has caught much higher than average numbers in their aphid traps, so the assumption is that all emerged crops are at risk of BYDV.

Weed control: there is a lot of blackgrass at 1 leaf now in patches in some fields. The intention is to leave most for about 14 days so the grass presents a better target for the herbicide, and further emergence will be less likely.

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Winter Barley

South East: All crops now emerged and range in growth stage from GS13-22+ - all crops growing rapidly in current mild conditions.

Eastern Counties: Most crops have at least 2 to 3 tillers. Most forwards are up to 7 or 8 tillers and just below wellington boot height. In the most forward and untreated crops mildew is rife.

East Midlands: Generally at GS 13-14 and looking well.

West Midlands: Earliest sown crops now at two tillers. Mildew obvious in some crops of Cassia.

North East: Crops continue to grow quickly and are now up to GS24. Low levels of Mildew on Cassia.

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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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