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Very close up shot of wheat crop ears in field

Report: 27 September 2013 (for week beginning 23 September 2013)

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

Earliest winter wheat at 2 leaf stage:

Slugs active in some crops:

Blackgrass emerging quickly:

Oilseed rape range from cotyledon to 6 true leaves:

: 27 September 2013. In contrast to last year it looks very likely that the planned acreage of winter oilseed rape will be achieved this autumn. Crops are establishing quickly and there is little slug damage recorded so far. Winter cereal drilling is continuing at a pace too with many first wheat crops drilled and most forward now at two leaf stage. Winter barley crops are going in and drilling of second wheats has started. Comments that blackgrass is emerging very quickly.

Winter Oilseed Rape

image from FoL

Volunteer wheat with oilseed rape seedling (picture courtesy of Farming Online).

South East: All fields drilled and range from Cotyledon to 4-5 true leaves ? around half of crops are now around 2 true leaves.

Phoma: none seen to date.

Slugs: good seedbeds and dry soils have minimised problems to date this autumn in most cases.

Turnip Sawfly: no larvae seen as yet.

Weed control: moderate/high levels of blackgrass emerged/emerging in some crops.

Eastern Counties: Excellent even establishment in earlier drilled crops and now 4 to 5 true leaves. Later drilled towards the very end of August were being sown into very drying seedbeds and then encountered some cold conditions in September. The seed has emerged well and young plants are now basking in warmer conditions. However, plant size is variable due to some seedling emergence being delayed from lack of moisture and there are a large number of cotyledon rape still in these fields. The young seedlings are struggling a bit in trashy areas and there appears be a little slowing of growth from metazachlor activity. Plant numbers look good.

Flea Beetle: fair amount of shot holing on some larger plants but not sufficient to consider spraying and new leaves appear unaffected.

Slugs: activity is generally low, many crops are now past the vulnerable stage. For areas where there are many cotyledon rape a second application has been made - often patch applied.

Leaf Miner: blistering seen but at low levels.

Weed control: second flush of volunteer barley.

East Midlands: Many forward crops at 3-4 leaves with later crops at cotyledon to 1 leaf.

Slugs: active and now a flush of juveniles causing some damage similar to flea beetle ? difference is small slugs can be found under leaves.

Weed control: blackgrass emerging quicker than rape but early post emergent applications look to be working well.

West Midlands: Crops growing quickly in the current mild weather and they range from cotyledon to 6 true leaves and looking like a forest.

Slugs: some patches of crop loss on particularly heavy ground and on minimum tilled lighter land. Need monitoring carefully.

Leaf Miner: becoming more obvious in some crops but not at damaging levels.

North East: All planned crops now in the ground and range from cotyledon to 4 true leaves. Crops growing well in the current conditions. There has been more germination this week with the damp soils. Average temperature for the week: 14 degrees. Rain ? 2.1 mm for the week.

Slugs: a little activity.

Weed control: more cranesbill emerging this week.

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Winter Wheat

image from FoL

Drilling winter wheat (picture courtesy Farming Online).

South East: Drilling underway with the aim to sow most first wheats by end of September. Any farms growing second wheat Cordiale/Solstice planning to finish drilling by 5th-10th October. All except the finest seedbeds will need rolling to optimise performance of pre-emergence sprays and also help reduce slug risk.

Slugs: trapping of fields after oilseed rape pre-/or post-drilling is indicating generally only low levels of slug activity.

Weed control: blackgrass emerging within 5-7 days of drilling.

Eastern Counties: Most first wheat is now in and earliest sown crops are at the 2 leaf stage. Second wheat drilling is just starting. Most forward wheat is at 2 leaves. Slugs are not too bad.

Slugs: no major problems yet but recent heavy rains have brought these and snails back into the picture.

East Midlands: Wheat drilling in earnest now with earlier crops at 1 leaf. Soils good but some dry cloddy seedbeds particularly after ploughing.

Weed control: Pre-emergent sprays going on or due to go on but dry soils cause some concern, could do with a nice shower of rain. Also cloddy soils a bit of a concern.

West Midlands: Crops drilled so far range from chitting to 2 true leaves. The majority of wheat following winter oilseed rape is now drilled along with a proportion after spring break crops. Second wheat drilling started this week. Rough guess 50% now drilled. Drilling cracked on from Friday onwards and have started rolling again, seed beds are very good with ploughing and minimum till.

Slugs: Unrolled wheat after rape on cloddy seedbed will need watching.

Weed control: weeds are coming up at the same rate as the wheat.

North East: Drilling in progress. Main varieties this year will be Grafton, JB Diego, Duxford, Cougar, Oakley, Scout and Alchemy.

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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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