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Very close up shot of wheat crop ears in field

Report: 02 December 2011 (for week beginning 28 November 2011)

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

The: continued mild weather has seen an increase in reports of Brown Rust in winter wheat. Yellow Rust also found in the North East. Mildew is endemic in winter barley crops and present in wheat crops across the country.

Phoma: levels increasing

Powdery mildew: on oilseed rape

Brown rust: in winter wheat South, East and North

Mildew: high levels in winter barley and present in wheat

Winter Oilseed Rape

image from FoL

Phoma lesion in oilseed rape
Photo Farming Online

South East: Crops range from 5-6 leaves to 9-10 true leaves and are all still growing quite rapidly in this continuous open autumn.

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: Mild weather has meant rape has continued to grow, most advanced crops are now 15 leaves+. These are now losing older leaves and the canopy is beginning to open up on some fields.

Powdery Mildew: seen fairly extensively in early drilled forward.

Phoma: all crops have been treated once and are unlikely to be treated again.

Pigeons: now starting along tramlines or on the headland in a few fields but for many crops the canopy cover is so complete they will have difficulty finding areas to land in a field.

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:

Slugs: crops out of danger of any damage now.

Phoma: none seen but all phoma sprays now on and apart from a couple of earlier sprayed which will be monitored no further treatment envisaged after the later sprays.

Weed control: most now on with some to go on in next few days where open patches in thick crops means blackgrass continues to get larger so waiting no longer.

West Midlands: Crops range from 8-10 true leaves to 1-2 true leaves. I think that in the main my late germinating crops will survive dependent upon how hard the winter will be, most fields have enough plants to make a crop.

Slugs: still none seen.

Pigeons: just beginning to come into some crops - big flocks around.

Phoma: developing in most crops now and in most cases treatment is now complete.

Weed control: charlock control will have to wait for crops to harden off before applying an herbicide.

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. Treatment is now complete.

Weed control: The combination of early herbicides has done a good job in most fields, but not good enough to close the gate. Most soil acting herbicides have been applied despite the above average temperatures.

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Winter Wheat

image from FoL

Brown rust in winter wheat
Photo Farming Online

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.

Brown rust: high levels present in most crops of Claire and developing in Cordiale and Solstice.

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.

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

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: follow up applications now being made where blackgrass has started tillering within the field, otherwise applications will be delayed until the second half of December.

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: easily found in some crops. Varieties include Claire, Grafton, Hereford, Santiago and Invicta. Rust on Scout is unwelcome news.

Mildew: most crops exhibiting low levels, particularly Claire and Solstice. Possibly treat very backwards wheat after sugar beet.

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. A lot rape after early applications, later applications better control.

East Midlands: All crops now emerged with varying stages of growth from three 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.

Brown rust: none seen.

Mildew: some high levels in Solstice but no action taken.

Weed control: blackgrass now emerged in most fields where expected although a few fields show very little after pre em. All sprays now on although spray days have been limited by winds or damp leaves. Earlier sprays showing some activity.

West Midlands: All fields (bar the odd extremely heavy cloddy patches ) are all up and looking exceptionally well the later emerging crops may be the best due to the continued warm weather. Some early sown crops are too forward.

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

Aphids: continuing mild conditions means that will more than likely spray non Deter crops sprayed 3-4 weeks ago again.

Brown rust: none seen.

Mildew: high levels on crops of Oakley and Solstice. Lower levels on Grafton and Humber.

Weed control: Volunteer oats after minimum tillage need controlling on some farms. Bromes emerging and thick enough to require treatment in some fields.

North East: Crops continue to grow in the unseasonably mild conditions. All early sown at GS25+, and even latest sown up to GS21.

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.

Brown Rust: low levels seen in Grafton.

Yellow Rust: Some heavily infected plants seen in some early sown Oakley.

Mildew: high levels in many early sown crops, particularly Oakley and Grafton.

Weed control: there has been a significant Blackgrass emergence in the last 14 days, and is now in the range 1 leaf to several tillers. A lot of fields are ready to spray now.

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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. High levels of mildew have necessitated a low rate knockdown spray either with herbicide or in a couple of cases alone. Levels of mildew as high as I have ever seen them in autumn, much higher than many springs.

West Midlands: Earliest sown crops now at four tillers. Mildew is endemic in many crops and those on light land have been treated.

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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