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Very close up shot of wheat crop ears in field

Report: 25 May 2012 (for week beginning 21 May 2012)

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

25 May 2012: Winter wheat crops have moved quickly over the last week with the flag leaf out on the majority of crops and ear emergence in the most forward ones. Oilseed rape seems to be going for a record for longest flowering period ever, although this could all change after the weekend with forecast for breezy conditions.

Septoria: risk remains high.

T2 fungicide: timing in winter wheat a priority.

Ear emergence: out in some very forward wheat crops

wheat blossom: Time to put midge traps out.

Monitor aphid numbers: as temperatures rise.

Ears emerging: in winter barley.

Winter Wheat

image from FoL

Brown rust - a hot weather disease.
(picture courtesy Farming Online).

South East: All crops now range between GS 39-55, with many crops now showing ears emerging in the last few days. Quite a number of September/early October sown crops of Solstice and Xi19 give the impression that if conditions warm up suddenly that they will move to ear emergence very quickly. Still damp in places, but after a dry and warm week all spray programs are up to date - only hold up has been the temperature, with spraying being avoided during hottest parts of the day to minimise any flag-leaf tipping effects.

Brown rust: none being found now that crops have generally had 3 fungicide applications - current warm weather will however find any chinks in the spray program on susceptible varieties (esp. Claire, Target and Solstice)

Yellow rust: some leaf pustule stripes seen on leaf 2 of Gallant where T1 applications were badly delayed, otherwise most crops remain free from visible infection.

Septoria: infections now very evident at 30-50% levels on leaf 3 in any crops of earlier sown Gallant/Solstice and Xi19, where T1 applications were delayed by 7-10+ days or gap between T0 and T1 was longer than 21-28 days.

Eyespot: a lot of obvious eyespot lesions now appearing in many September/early October sown crops (particularly Cordiale, Gallant and Solstice) due to the highly favourable weather this year - some mid-September sown Gallant is beginning to lodge now due to severe penetrating eyespot.

Fusarium: with ears now emerging rapidly and FERA reports of high levels of Fusarium spp inoculums present on leaves, this will be a year to use high rates of both Septoria and Fusarium active triazoles at T3.

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: This week has seen flag leaf fungicides going on in earnest, especially where the gap since the T1 spray was more than 3 to 4 weeks, in some cases a little more.

Brown rust: now showing on untreated varieties.

Yellow rust: high levels in untreated patches of susceptible crops.

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

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

Septoria: evident on leaf 3 on some crops.

Take-all: starting to see symptoms in second wheats.

Weed control: areas in some fields where blackgrass, wild oats or brome are visible.

East Midlands: Most crops now have main stem flag leaf emerged but in many cases it has been slow and tillers only have flag partially out. Crusoe looks particularly clean, Solstice showing some Septoria. Hot weather drying soil surfaces and tramlines now drying out making fieldwork much easier.

Brown rust: none seen.

Yellow rust: starting to come back in on Oakley which is having robust T2.

Mildew: remains low but some at base of stems, especially Humber but not on upper leaves.

Septoria: plenty on lower leaves and some on leaf 3 tips but generally leaf 3 quite clear and leaf 2 is clear.

Eyespot: can be found but not always penetrating. Expect to see more where T1 delayed, especially where using a T1 for eyespot and lack of penetration in thick crops.

Weed control: some Ryegrass got through Axial and suspect may be some resistance - testing will be carried out on suspected fields.

West Midlands: Flag leaf fully out on majority of crops now with some showing ears emerging on forward crops.

Brown rust: none seen.

Yellow rust: traces on Oakley where T1 delayed..

Mildew: traces developing in the bottom of some thicker crops.

Eyespot: sharp eyespot (Rhizoctinia cerealis) rife in some crops and in worst cases crops are showing distinct pale patches.

Septoria: beginning to appear on tip of leaf 3 where T1 fungicides were delayed.

Aphids: low level of aphids entering crops now.

Weed control: Ryegrass and bromes appearing in some fields now.

North East: Most crops have flag leaf well emerged and all early sown now at GS 39.

Brown Rust: no new infection seen.

Yellow Rust: no new infection seen.

Mildew: no new infection seen.

Eyespot: no serious levels of infection identified so far.

Septoria: most crops still have acceptable levels of visible infection, but a few instances of dense crops of Viscount now have high levels within the crop canopy.

Wheat Blossom Midge: pheromone traps will be put out over next 7 days. The major susceptible varieties in this area are Invicta, Duxford, Grafton and Beluga.

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.

South East: All crops now at late flowering stages, with recent hot weather hastening loss of flowers. This year has seen an incredibly extended flowering period with many crops having been in flower for 6-7 weeks or so - however pod set is perhaps not as extensive as might be expected from this duration of flowering, with quite a number of blind sites reflecting periods of frost etc.

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Winter Oilseed Rape

image from FoL

Seed Weevil beginning to enter crops.
(picture courtesy Farming Online).

South East: All crops now at late flowering stages, with recent hot weather hastening loss of flowers. This year has seen an incredibly extended flowering period with many crops having been in flower for 6-7 weeks or so - however pod set is perhaps not as extensive as might be expected from this duration of flowering, with quite a number of blind sites reflecting periods of frost etc.

Phoma: no significant renewed spotting seen to date.

Light Leaf Spot: no new infections seen.

Seed Weevil: low levels of adults seen in quite a few crops in the last week, particularly on headlands, but many crops have nearly finished flowering now so not rushing to spray.

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

Sclerotinia: with some warmer days this week so far conditions have again been more conducive to ascospore production. With petal sticking in leaf axils still evident infection has clearly been very well synchronised with the mid-flowering stages of the crop this year - this looks to be a potentially very high risk year and any crops that have not had a fungicide for 18-21 days+ need spraying urgently.

Eastern Counties: Crops just going past full flower with just a few flowers left on main raceme but plenty of flowers on side branches. Setting pods well. Little weed making it through the dense canopies this year. Still some final applications of N to go on planned for full flower or just afterwards.

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.

Pollen Beetle: surprising amount of recent pollen beetle damage on late flowering pigeon damaged crops.

Sclerotinia: second flowering spray now applied or just about to be for most crops targeting sclerotinia but also mindful of botrytis, alternaria. Products ran short! Had to use some substitutions. Some crops have been in flower for 8 weeks. One or two growers are considering a third flowering spray.

East Midlands: Will rape ever stop flowering! Many crops look more like mid flower and look to flower for some time yet after some 8 weeks since start of flowering.

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

Seed Weevil: numbers remain low.

Sclerotinia: nearly all crops have had a second spray - some talk of even a third spray if flowering continues!

West Midlands: Yellow fields becoming a fixture as flowering continues. Some early flowering crops though are beginning to lose their overall yellow appearance and expect that after the forecast winds this weekend many crops will change colour.

Phoma: no new infections.

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

Seed weevil: still only low levels seen.

Sclerotinia: most have now applied a second fungicide especially if more than 3 weeks elapsed since the first application.

North East: Crops continue to flower strongly, and now at 50 - 75 % flowering.

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, and crops have been in flower for a long time now.

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Winter Barley

South East: Crops now ears emerged to flowering - no more inputs until the combine.

Eastern Counties: Ear emergence in many crops.

East Midlands: T2 are now on and gates shut barring massive aphid influx.

West Midlands: Ears out on many crops and some starting to flower.

North East: Awns well emerged now, and most crops at GS 55, half ear emergence.

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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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