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Very close up shot of wheat crop ears in field

Report: 22 November 2011 (for week beginning 14 November 2011)

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

The: mild autumn has seen a dramatic increase in mildew in winter barley crops across the country. Brown rust in winter wheat seems to be restricted to South and East but where present it is developing on to new leaves. In winter oilseed rape Phoma levels have reached 10% leaf infection in the North East but elsewhere progress of the disease has been slower. BYDV threat in all cereals remains high this year.

Phoma: Levels increasing.

Powdery mildew: On oilseed rape

Brown rust: increasing in winter wheat and barley.

Mildew: increased dramatically in winter barley

Winter Oilseed Rape

image from FoL

Phoma in oilseed rape slowly increasing

South East: Crops range from 6-8 leaves up to 10-12 true leaves - bulk of crops are now around 7-8 true leaf stage, and are all still growing quite rapidly due to ongoing mild day and night weather.

Slugs: most crops now out of danger from slug damage.

Phoma: most unsprayed crops have now got 5-10% leaf spotting and are being sprayed with fungicides now - 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: Growth has slowed, heavier land fields which had suffered in the dry weather have picked up colour since the rain. Some light land fields are beginning to show some loss of older leaf and opening up a little but on the whole the majority of crops are still as forward as we have ever seen and giving complete ground cover. I expect we will be delaying and saving on N in the spring.

Powdery Mildew: seen fairly extensively in early drilled forward.

Phoma: seen on all fields. Where fungicide has already been applied Phoma lesions have dried up.

Weed control: Charlock now flowering above the crop, generally levels are low and not competitive. Soil acting herbicides for blackgrass control still delayed until soil temperatures drop.

East Midlands: Crops now look more like spring than autumn with continued growth and a spring like colour.

Slugs: crops out of danger of any damage now.

Phoma: none seen but Phoma sprays now going on while weather is good.

Weed control: blackgrass is growing as rapidly as the rape. Herbicide now going on with fungicides although some crops will be left until canopy opens up when (if) we get frosts. Continued dry weather is of concern. Charlock plentiful and like the rape growing rapidly.

West Midlands: Crops range from 8-10 true leaves to 1-2 true leaves. Irrigated crops responded well (some started 2 weeks later than others these are only just at 1 leaf). Another 10-14 days of this mild weather will see most crops capable of surviving the winter.

Slugs: still none seen.

Pigeons: the late emerging crops are going to be very difficult to keep pigeons off but if ever there was a season to be very vigilant this is the season for it because the plants are so small they will just be ripped out of the ground.

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

Phoma: just becoming apparent in some crops.

Weed Control: hedge mustard appearing in more fields than usual.

North East: Crops continue to grow in the current conditions, with many at 10 - 12 leaves.

Phoma: lesions are easily found now, with some crops nearing 10 % plants infected level.

Weed Control: the combination of early post-emergence herbicide plus a follow up has done a good job in most fields, but not good enough to close the gate. A further herbicide application is planned for mid-November.

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Winter Wheat

image from FoL

Brown rust seen in early sown Claire.

South East: Earliest sown wheats now at GS 22+, though bulk of crops are at around GS21, with later sown fields now at around 2-3 leaves. All crops are growing rapidly with ongoing mild days and nights.

Brown rust: high levels present in most crops of Claire and developing in Cordiale and Solstice. Hoping will be a spell of proper wintry weather soon to knock back disease development.

Mildew: high levels present in some earlier sown fields of Gallant and Cordiale in particular.

Yellow rust: hard to distinguish early pustules from brown rust, but I have my suspicions that it is widely present in Solstice and Gallant in particular.

Slugs: following recent rains there has been a marked increase in foliar shredding particularly after oilseed rape, though also evident in a few fields after S.Beans, where seedbeds are cloddier and along old chaff lines.

Weed Control: Blackgrass still emerging and present at 1-leaf to 3-leaves in October sown crops, and up to early tillering in earlier sown crops where dry seedbeds limited the efficacy of herbicides applied pre-emergence. Follow up applications now being/been made where blackgrass has started tillering in earlier sown crops, otherwise applications will be delayed as late as weather conditions dictate to ensure blackgrass emergence is mostly complete.

Eastern Counties: Majority of crops have filled in the patches now. Crops range from 3lvs - 3 tillers generally but most forward crops have 7-9 tillers plus.

Brown rust: increase in incidence of disease and appearing on newer leaves in some forward crops. Varieties include Claire, Grafton, Hereford, Santiago and Invicta.

Mildew: most crops exhibiting low levels, particularly 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 havent helped. Poor levels of cranesbill control in places.

East Midlands: All crops now emerged with varying stages of growth from two leaf to early tillering. Even late drilled crops after maize at GS13. Soils tacky on top but relatively dry no wet areas at all. Lower down in soil profile quite dry.

Slugs: damage remains very low with no problems

Mildew: remains low and no action being taken

Weed control: blackgrass now emerged in most fields where expected although a few fields show very little after pre em. Herbicide now going on crops where blackgrass at 1-3 leaves with some crops sprayed already and more being done this week. Several days of damp misty weather delayed spraying last week. Some patchy crops with little or no blackgrass will now be treated in spring unless a surge in blackgrass this side of Christmas.

West Midlands: Since the beginning of the rain 3 weeks ago the majority of crops (even on the heaviest ground) are either up at 1-2 true leaf or just emerging, even wheat drilled week commencing 7th September are coming through. I think we have lost 3-5% of seed on these fields either through blue mould or simply not chitting at all. Another week of warm weather will see all fields up. Spraying conditions have been ideal over the last two weeks and as such pretty much all wheat ( bar wheat after turf and fodder beet ) has now been sprayed. Leaving wheat after long term turf until the spring.

Slugs: some evidence this week of either hollowing or slight grazing.

Aphids: continuing mild conditions means that will more than likely apply further treatment as appropriate.

Mildew: easily found on crops of Solstice, Grafton and Humber but nowhere at treatable levels.

Weed control: Have had to over-spray one crop of wheat after oilseed rape where early post ems didn't cope.

North East: Earliest sown crops at GS 25. Latest sown have developed from germination to GS 12 in 14 days.

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

Aphids: normally spraying for aphids would be all done now, but even the latest crops to emerge are being treated this year.

Mildew: low level seen in most forward crops

Weed control: there has been a significant blackgrass emergence in the last 7 days, and is now in the range 1 leaf to several tillers. A lot of fields are ready to spray.

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Winter Barley

South East: Crops now range in growth stage from GS13-22+ - all crops growing rapidly in current mild conditions. Mildew - quite high levels noted on lower leaves of some crops of Cassia. Brown rust pustules evident in most crops now.

Eastern Counties: Crops growing rapidly with most forward at 7 or 8 tillers and just below wellington boot height. In the most forward and un-treated crops mildew is rife.

East Midlands: Crops are now tillering. Mildew levels have increased rapidly in the last 2 weeks and most crops requiring fungicide in with herbicide.

West Midlands: Earliest sown crops now at two tillers. Mildew is increasing and if the forecast next week is for continued mild weather may well spray a lot of crops.

North East: Crops are in the range of GS21-24+, and some are getting quite big and dense. Mildew levels have stayed high, particularly, in Cassia. There are significant levels in the 6-row varieties as well.

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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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