: 20 September 2013. A very different late September to last year with no one wishing to celebrate the anniversary of last years deluge. A dry period forecast should see the autumn sowing plan completed this year in good conditions. However, harvest is still to be completed with some spring cereals still uncut along with spring oilseed rape and beans to be brought in.
Earliest winter wheat emerging:
Slugs active in some crops:
Blackgrass emerging, good opportunity for stale seedbeds:
Oilseed rape range from cotyledon to four true leaves:
Harvest not yet complete:
Winter Oilseed Rape
Volunteer wheat with oilseed rape seedling (picture courtesy of Farming Online).
South East: All fields drilled and range from cotyledon to 2-3 true leaves, around half of crops are now around 1-2 true leaves.
Phoma: none seen to date, even on volunteers in nearby rape stubble ? however recent rains throughout September to date could mean an earlier spore release than last year.
Slugs: good seedbeds and dry soils have minimised problems to date this autumn in most cases.
Turnip Sawfly: no larvae seen as yet, though adults noted egg-laying on true leaves of more advanced crops during warm weather around 10 days ago.
Weed control: moderate/high levels of blackgrass emerged/emerging in some crops, particularly after spring barley, indicating low dormancy in shed seed. Volunteer cereals ? large flush in min-tilled crops after spring barley in particular.
Eastern Counties: Seedbeds are all now well wetted to seed depth, however germination and growth has slowed following the recent drop in temperatures. The earlier drilled fields, especially on the lighter soil types in NW Norfolk, are now well established with up to 4 leaves (mainly 2 true leaf expanded stage) but in later drilled fields plants are still emerging. Establishment overall looks promising. Some purpling of small cotyledon rape struggling in trashy areas and there may be some effects from the pre-emergence herbicides after the recent rain but these effects are not widespread.
Slugs: becoming more apparent on cloddier areas but have not thinned crop drastically at present.
Weed control: most crops have now been sprayed to remove volunteer barley. Some minimum tilled fields following wheat now being sprayed for volunteers.
East Midlands: Many crops now emerged with growth stages from 4-6 leaves down to cotyledon-1 leaf in drier soils. Generally good take.
Slugs: no major activity but at risk crops have had a low rate of pellets to ensure crop survival.
Weed control: blackgrass starting to emerge. Pre-emergent and early post-emergent sprays are working well.
West Midlands: Majority of the crop is now at cotyledon to 4+ true leaves, crops drilled last week are emerging and nearly 98% planned area now drilled. Wet weather over the last two weeks has helped the dry seedbed crops to come through and grow away.
Slugs: some patches of crop loss on particularly heavy ground and on minimum tilled lighter land.
North East: Crops range from cotyledon to 3 true leaves. There has been more germination this week with the damp soils.
Slugs: a few slugs around, low grazing starting to be seen in places.
Weed control: blackgrass emerging.
Drilling winter wheat (picture courtesy Farming Online).
South East: Drilling of Claire and Scout just underway this week. Solstice, Gallant, Crusoe and Cordiale planned for drilling next week and Xi19 in early October. As ever, the aim is to sow most first wheats by end of September (except crops after Grain maize/potatoes etc). Any farms growing second wheat Cordiale/Solstice planning to finish drilling these by 5th-10th October. An unsettled week has hampered any significant drilling progress except on some lighter ground ? soils are now moist following around 40mm of rain in the last seven days, and with a week or so of fine weather being forecast, fields should work down well to produce good seedbeds.
Slugs: trapping on fields after oilseed rape, pre- or post-drilling, is indicating generally low levels of slug activity to date ? populations appear to be very low on any fields that have been disced or cultivated twice before drilling.
Weed control: 40-60mm of rain in September have encouraged some useful blackgrass flushes in stale seedbeds, so hopefully in-crop populations should be lower on the worst fields. Blackgrass also found emerging within 5-7 days of drilling in the few fields drilled to date.
Eastern Counties: Drilling is under way but very little has emerged.
East Midlands: First wheat going in now but most will be next week, when the weather improves. Over wintered 2012 seed continues to be variable in germination with some as low as 73%. These will be drilled at higher seed rate and first so that if re-drilling is required then there will be time. Main varieties continue to be the front line ones: Santiago ,Invicta, Gallant, Panorama, JB Diego with Weaver, Leeds and Relay amongst the newer ones.
Weed control: good flush of blackgrass in stubbles. Pre-emergents look to be going onto good seed beds but a long dry spell is not required.
West Midlands: Most forward crops of Grafton now emerged, remaining recently sown crops all chitted and not far from emerging (crops spurting within 24-48hrs of drilling at the moment). Rain (15-20mm) since last report has somewhat hampered drilling and slowed progress on minimum till fields. Need dry weather to dry out worked ground before the big machinery can start rolling again. Main varieties are Grafton, JB Diego, Relay, Leeds, Oakley, Gallant, Solstice, Invicta, Santiago and a small amount of Horatio.
Slugs: so far so good, some hollowing found where crop drilled into cloddy seedbed and not covered properly. Slugs can be found on most minimum tilled ground after oilseed rape.
Weed control: pre-emergents going on where needed.
North East: Some early plantings now underway.