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Very close up shot of wheat crop ears in field

Report: 15 June 2012 (for week beginning 11 June 2012)

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

15 June 2012: Winter wheat crops are at the start of flowering in most areas. T3 fungicides are a priority with rain at flowering. Oilseed rape crops are at seed set and potential looks good although some concern that the prolonged flowering may have resulted into sunlight being reflected from the crop for a long time. Septoria in winter wheat is still the main story with many reports of the disease on final leaf 3 and reports from the south west of final leaf 2 also infected.

Fusarium: risk remains high.

T3 fungicide: timing in winter wheat a priority

Wheat: beginning to flower in the south

Wheat blossom midge: risk diminishing with cool, windy conditions.

Blackgrass: rising above the crop.

Winter Wheat

image from FoL

Fusarium ear blight

South East: All crops are now at early to late anthesis - most T3 applications have now been completed, though with around half delayed by around 7-10 days. Earliest developing varieties now have grains at early watery ripe (Cordiale/Gallant) - foliar N applications now being planned for around 10-14 days time. Concern regarding lodging is growing, due to the extent to which many varieties seem to have shown late upper stem extension, despite use of PGRs at mid-late stem extension - no more gales or heavy rain please! All wheats are in desperate need of some prolonged sun and warmth to assist grain fill, otherwise we will end up with a lot of low specific weight wheat to sell.

Brown rust: none found.

Mildew: no new infections.

Yellow rust: no new infections.

Septoria: Septoria tritici is the main talking point and area of concern in wheat crops, with leaf 3 beginning to succumb to the relentless pressure even in 2-spray SDHI programs. In many ways Septoria is behaving more like potato blight as a pathogen this year.

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 favorable weather this year - some mid-September sown Gallant is beginning to lodge now due to severe penetrating eyespot.

Eastern Counties: Crops are starting to flower and T3 applications are either on or are imminent.

Brown rust: no new infections.

Yellow rust: traces seen on the ears of Santiago even after robust T2.

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: Some crops at flowering stage but colder and wetter weather has slowed development and many crops only just starting to flower. Crops remain almost continually wet. Reports of lodging in a few crops. Tramlines lying in water and some wet corners of fields with localized ponding

Brown rust: none seen

Yellow rust: no new infections.

Mildew: levels remain low but odd crops of Solstice have some on final leaf 3.

Septoria: continues to be found on leaf 3 at low levels with leaf 2 and 1 so far fairly clear, with just odd bits on some leaf 2, especially in Solstice.

Eyespot: generally low levels but sharp eyespot on Crusoe where T1 delayed due to weather causing some concern.

Wheat Blossom Midge: too cold, wet and windy.

Weed control: blackgrass patches being noted and resistance looks to be spreading

West Midlands: Many crops starting to flower at the beginning of this week with some T3 fungicides applied mid-week. Wind and rain now holding up further spray applications.

Brown rust: none seen.

Yellow rust: no new infections seen.

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

Eyespot: sharp eyespot levels obvious in many crops.

Septoria: can find septoria in some crops as high as final leaf 3 but only at 5 -10 % of leaf infected. Most others confined to final leaf four and below. Relay noticeably cleaner that other varieties.

Aphids: very few aphids found.

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

North East: Ears emerged in most crops, but notably some Duxford and Grafton are virtually fully emerged.

Brown Rust: no new infection seen.

Yellow Rust: some new infection present in a few crops of Oakley as T2 was applied. Control looks effective but there are some typical dead areas even on the flag leaf in some crops.

Mildew: no new infection seen.

Eyespot: higher than usual levels present in most crops, but so far not seen stem penetration.

Septoria: lower leaves are severely infected in some crops despite the robust fungicide program. These are generally early sown first wheats that are now very dense crops. Later sown and more open crops are much cleaner even to leaves 4 and 5.

Wheat Blossom Midge: pheromone traps in fields now, but no infestation been identified yet.

Weed control: driving round Holderness the situation looks worse every day as more blackgrass heads emerge above the wheat. Despite some very robust herbicide programmes this is the worst result for many years and will leave a legacy of problems for the future.

South East:

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Winter Oilseed Rape

image from FoL

Pod set in oilseed rape

South East: Pod fill well underway and so far most crops are still standing well, apart from one part field of DK EXcellium which is flat, and around half the DK Camelot crops which are now leaning heavily - the latter a reflection of its very thin stems (more akin to Spring rape in appearance). Crops need a few weeks of sunshine now to optimise seed fill, otherwise I fear there will be a lot of disappointed growers

Eastern Counties: All fields now finished flowering. Some varieties are very tall and there is some partial lodging in areas. DK Camelot and Cabernet standing well. Pod set is looking promising.

Sclerotinia: one or two growers applying a third fungicide towards end of flowering for Sclerotinia back up and pod diseases (alternaria).

East Midlands: Crops remain very green and difficult to see any harvested before end July unless weather hots up. Most crops standing up well showing the benefit of a good growth regulator programme, with just a bit of leaning as oppose to lodging.

Sclerotinia: none seen yet.

West Midlands: Pod set looks reasonable but quite a few crops knocked about by the rain and wind.

Sclerotinia: no signs of sclerotinia yet.

North East: Pod filling is well advanced now even though there is still some flower hanging on. Seed set looks good.

Sclerotinia: it will be a couple of weeks yet before the level of control can be assessed.

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Winter Barley

South East: Unlike wheats and rape, this years cool wet conditions may well favour barley crops - may winter barley crops look to have reasonable yield potential.

Eastern Counties: Ear emergence in many crops.

East Midlands: Crops at watery ripe to milky ripe and now wait for harvest. All crops look good and clear of disease. Crops standing well.

West Midlands: Potential looks good for many crops but we don't want any more wind or rain.

North East: Grain fill has started, so sunshine is now a priority if what look excellent crops are to achieve their potential yields.

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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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