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Very close up shot of wheat crop ears in field

Report: 04 May 2012 (for week beginning 30 April 2012)

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

04 May 2012: Heavy rain has turned some soils to slurry with all the ensuing rooting problems that brings. T1 fungicides delayed still further leading some consultants to predict that they may have to miss them out altogether and go straight to T2 timings. Septoria risk remains very high. Sclerotinia control in oilseed rape crops also delayed. High winds and heavy rain have knocked down more crops of winter oilseed rape in the Midlands. Reports of some wheat crops in the South also damaged by high winds and heavy rain. On the plus side low temperatures have slowed down crop growth which may help build stronger stems by shortening internodes in at risk winter wheat crops. We can only hope since ethephon based growth regulators are said to be in very short supply.

Septoria: risk remains high.

T1 fungicide: timing in winter wheat a priority.

Flag leaf tip: visible in some forward wheat crops.

Yellow rust: returns where T1 sprays delayed.

Flag leaf: emerging in winter barley.

Sclerotinia: control delayed by weather.

Highlights

Winter Wheat
  • Septoria development in low temperatures - the latent period (time taken from infection to expression of the disease) for Septoria tritici is around 250 - 300 day degrees.
  • The average daily temperature this April for central England (Met. Office figures) was 7.2ÂșC thus under these conditions any symptoms are unlikely to appear for at least 30 days after infection.

Winter Wheat

image from FoL

Wet weather raises Septoria risk.
(courtesy of Farming Online).

South East: Crops now typically range from GS32 (for late October+ sowings) to flag-leaf emergence GS 37-39 (September sowings) now on main shoots of Gallant and Solstice in particular. Some indications of early crop leaning in thicker, taller crops where combination of heavy rain, wet soft soils and strong winds last weekend have pushed stems around - all these crops have already had 2-3 PGR applications! Very Wet. We are definitely enduring the 'wettest drought' ever as have now had >185mm of rain in the last 3 weeks and the wettest April ever. All the wet and wind have caused some major application problems with T1 applications delayed by 10-14 days in some cases. Soils now very wet in places with standing water not uncommon

Brown rust: have been finding some clusters of pustules in last 2 weeks in thicker crops of September sown Claire, Target and Solstice.

Mildew: some in a few lush and forward crops of Gallant/Solstice.

Yellow rust: no foci or leaf pustule stripes seen, but remain vigilant particularly on varieties that may be prone to the Warrior race.

Septoria: current conditions with frequent rain splash events are very favorable for infection and any crops not yet sprayed with a T1 will have significant latent infections now in unprotected leaves, which unless applications are made within the next 4-5 days are likely to result in significant infection of leaf 3. This looks potentially the worst Septoria year since 2008.

Eyespot: quite a lot of stem based browning now appearing in many September/early October sown crops.

Weed control: all spring applications of herbicide have now been completed - so far control of black grass is looking perhaps more comprehensive than some Autumn applications have been.

Eastern Counties: Probably 60 - 70% crops at GS 32 final leaf 3 emerging. A lot of rain this week with only a couple of days opportunity to catch up on spraying. Most fertiliser is on now. Some people have still got their last dose to go. We have cut back this year because of thick crops and N left from last year.

Brown rust: now showing on untreated varieties.

Yellow rust: new infections showing where T1 fungicide delayed.

Mildew: the more backwards crops showing quite a lot of mildew.

Eyespot: showing on crops but is not really penetrating the leaf sheath.

Septoria: showing in the older leaves and with wet weather it has a lot of potential to spread. Invicta seems to be quite badly affected.

Take-all: starting to see symptoms in second wheats even in some treated crops.

East Midlands: All crops have final leaf 3 out and many forward crops have final leaf 2 emerging up to 20% out in some crops. Although most crops have had a robust growth regulator some crops will need a GS 37 spray but these products are in short supply with only some Cerone types available. Fields very wet with some localized ponding - some crop damage in gateways and on headlands where turning but lesser of two evils when sprays delayed. Final main N to go on when spraying done and weather allows with N for bread varieties aimed at mid May.

Brown rust: none seen.

Yellow rust: seen in Oakley at low level where T1 delayed due to rain.

Mildew: levels remain low although a bit on the lower stems of Humber but not a significant levels.

Septoria: plenty there in the bottom of the crop and time will tell whether T1s have held it. Many crops have clean leaves 4 and 5 but the gap between T0 and T1 is getting longer.

Eyespot: surprisingly holding steady and generally not penetrating especially where an eyespot T0 was used.

Weed control: some broad-leaved weeds starting to emerge in bases of crops with the wet conditions but many crops clean and good crop competition will see them through.

West Midlands: Crop growth has virtually come to a halt over the last seven days which is helping where delayed T1 fungicides are concerned. The most forward crops have the flag leaf just visible but the majority are still at final leaf 3 emerging to fully emerged. On the plus side slower growth should mean thicker stem cell walls and shorter internodes, just as well considering the dearth of ethephon based growth regulators.

Brown rust: none seen.

Yellow rust: no new infections seen.

Mildew: none seen.

Eyespot: Some lesions in early drilled crops but not developing.

Septoria: lots of septoria in the base of many crops but don't confuse with leaf scorch from earlier fungicide applications.

Weed control: rain has encouraged a recent emergence of broad leaved weeds including cleavers and volunteer oilseed rape.

North East: The final leaf 2 is 50-75% emerged in some Duxford and Scout crops. Most crops are at GS 32. There is high tiller survival this season, so many crops are thicker than usual. We shouldn't complain as our area has had much less rain than the South, but there has still been more than enough. There was 46 mm locally in the last 7 days making a total of 110 mm for April. The average April rainfall for the previous 3 years was 12 mm. Consequently tramlines are full of water but sprayers were working again on Monday on selected fields. There are only few crops not had their T1, and this will be done at first opportunity now, even if it doesn't look very pretty afterwards.

Brown Rust: low levels seen in the most susceptible varieties, such as Duxford and Grafton but well controlled so far by the T0 fungicide.

Yellow Rust: traces of rust just re-appearing as T1 applied. In some Oakley, Robigus and Santiago.

Mildew: only the most resistant varieties are clean such as Warrior and Viscount. All the rest have varying levels of infection.

Eyespot: more lesions penetrating the outer leaf sheath seen this week.

Septoria: fairly high levels seen on older leaves of most forward crops, but development halted for now by T0 fungicide.

Weed control: Areas of poor control of blackgrass becoming more evident now. There are going to be some fields with significant patches come the Summer. Also, since the rain started more broad-leaved weeds have come through so there will be some herbicide needed with the T2 fungicide in a few fields. Cranesbill continues to be 'BLW of the year'.

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Winter Oilseed Rape

image from FoL

Heavy rain and high winds takes its toll.
(courtesy Farming Online).

South East: All crops now between first flowers to mid - flowering.

Phoma: no significant renewed spotting seen to date.

Light Leaf Spot: no new infections seen.

Seed Weevil: no new sightings.

Mealy aphids: colonies beginning to be noted around headlands in particular.

Sclerotinia: this looks to be a potentially very high risk year and any crops that have not had a fungicide for 18-21 days+ now need spraying urgently.

Eastern Counties: Crops have nearly all now come out into full flower. It is likely to be a long flowering period considering the continued cool temperatures and forecast ahead.

Light leaf spot: remained at low levels none on upper leaves, recent conditions have not been conducive to spread of this disease.

Mealy aphids: in small clusters scattered in some crops.

Sclerotinia: most crops have now received their first sclerotinia spray. All crops will be targeted with a second fungicide application about 3 weeks after the first.

East Midlands: Crops at 15-20 pods formed and look well. There are reports of laid crops from last Sunday's wind and rain, DK Cabernet being the main culprit apparently. With frosts being expected this weekend some crops could take a double hit.

Light Leaf Spot: just odd pieces but nothing of concern.

Seed Weevil: no weevil seen yet.

Sclerotinia: with the continued wet weather sclerotinia sprays will be aimed at 3 weeks after the first. Crops have a lot of flowering to do and the colder weather this weekend will slow them down further.

West Midlands: Still a wide range of growth stages with some crops only just starting to flower whilst others are at early pod set. Heavy rain and high winds have flattened some crops especially on exposed sites. Elsewhere damage is restricted to fertiliser overlaps or over thick crops. The heavy rains have turned soils to slurry and with shallow roots crops have had no resistance to root lodging.

Phoma: no new infections.

Light Leaf Spot: very low levels which have not developed.

Seed weevil: none seen yet.

Sclerotinia: plenty of rain so sprayers have been kept out of fields. One benefit is that any falling petals are not sticking to the crop. However, low temperatures have also kept germination of sclerotinia at bay.

North East: All crops in full flower now, and have set pods well despite the weather. Very wet and muddy, but fields will travel if have to.

Phoma: no further infections seen.

Pollen Beetle: crops coming into flower are no longer at risk.

Sclerotinia: the wet conditions are highly favorable to Sclerotinia infection, but the risk is slightly tempered by the low temperatures.

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Winter Barley

South East: Crops now range in growth stage from GS37-52 with awns emerging in many crops - any late PGR applications urgently need completing on more advanced crops within next few days.

Eastern Counties: Some crops now have flag leaf out and awns poking through.

Net-blotch: at treatable levels in some varieties such as Flagon and Cassata and will be treated.

Brown rust: present in Carat and Pearl.

East Midlands: Final leaf 2 now out and expect flag to be out in next week or so. Disease levels remain low although with all this rain pressure is on.

West Midlands: Flag leaves struggling to emerge on most forward crops. Disease levels still low and being kept under control by earlier fungicide applications. BYDV now becoming obvious in some crops.

North East: Many crops have flag leaf 50 -100 % emerged now. Most crops are well tillered and Cerone has been recommended at various rates. The hybrid varieties are much thicker than intended, but at least the stems seem thick and strong following the early PGR program.

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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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