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Very close up shot of wheat crop ears in field

Report: 04 October 2013 (for week beginning 30 September 2013)

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

: Crops continue to establish and grow quickly in this open autumn. Weed control is up to date on many farms and so far pests and diseases have yet to rear their ugly heads. Slug numbers are notably down on last year and little damage is reported. Phoma is being reported for the first time but levels are very low and many crops remain free of the disease.

: First signs of Phoma in oilseed rape

: Slugs active low but be vigilant after recent rain

: Turnip sawfly larvae in South

: Oilseed rape planting complete

Winter Oilseed Rape

image from FoL

Early signs of Phoma

South East: All fields drilled and now range from 1 true leaf to 6 true leaves - around half of crops are now around 3-4 true leaves stage.

Phoma: none seen to date, even on volunteers in nearby rape stubbles.

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

Turnip Sawfly: low levels of larvae now being found on undersides of leaves in crops that have not had a pyrethroid applied - damage looks very similar to slug grazing.

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

Eastern Counties: The earlier drilled crops which caught moisture in the seedbed are growing away rapidly 5 leaves plus and look even. The later drillings which have shown staggered emergence now have plenty of plants emerged but a high proportion are still at cotyledon stage. There appears to be some slow growth, dulling of colour and purpling especially where there is a lot of trash.

Phoma: first few spots of disease seen this week but levels are very low.

Flea beetle: activity more noticeable on earlier drilled crops, however large plants are growing away from the damage.

Slugs: activity continues to be low and most crops have established with very little thinning.

Leaf miner: blistering seen but at low levels.

Weed control: volunteer barley continues to emerge. Poppies just beginning to come through earlier treatments on a few light fields.

East Midlands: Forward crops at 6-7 leaves with average crops at 3-5 leaves and later crops at 1-3 leaves. All crops look well.

Phoma: none at all seen yet even in most forward crops.

Slugs: odd pockets of slight damage on later drilled crops which require some attention but crops affected few and far between as most crops now at stage where slugs will do little damage

Weed Control: blackgrass continues to emerge and will need robust treatment to prevent it getting too deeply rooted.

West Midlands: Crops growing quickly and looks like we could have sowed half the seed and still had a good crop!

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

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

Phoma: first signs but very low levels.

Weed control: some crops really have taken up a good dose of clomazone and continue to show discoloured leaves.

North East: All planned crops now in the ground and crops range from cotyledon to 4 true leaf. Crops growing well in the current conditions. Symptoms of moisture stress on cotyledons in dry areas. Average temperature for the week: 13 degrees, Rain Nil for the week.

Slug: a little activity.

Phoma: none seen.

Weed control: more cranesbill and black-grass emerging this week.

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Winter Wheat

image from FoL

Early sown wheat emerging well

South East: Drilling of first wheats now mostly completed, with second wheat drilling now underway also - what a contrast to last Autumn! With warm and moist soils, crops are emerging around 10 days after sowing- earliest sown crops (20th Sept) now at 1-2 leaf stage.

Slugs: some slug grazing being noted now on emerged wheat crops in heavier areas after winter oilseed rape.

Weed control: blackgrass can be readily found emerging with wheat in problem fields, despite having killed several seedbed flushes with glyphosate.

Eastern Counties: Majority of wheat now in and emergence has been good. It is noticeably dry at the moment and could do with some rain to activate pre-emergence herbicides. Most forward wheat is at 2 leaves.

Slugs: no major problems and not as many as expected. Crops growing away from any grazing.

East Midlands: Earlier drillings at 2 leaf but majority still below ground either just germinating or sitting in dry soil waiting for rain. What a difference a year makes - soils dry on top and some quite cloddy - rain welcome but not a lot!

Slugs: no reports of any slug damage or activity - seedbeds are generally good which will prevent any grain hollowing

Weed control: Pre ems generally going on straight after drilling and many crops have now got them on hopefully rain this week will activate them.

West Midlands: Recent rain, heavy at times, has brought drilling to a halt. But soils will not take long to dry for drilling to continue. plough drill guys may be able to carry on particularly on the lighter ground

Slugs: Still not a major issue, isolated patches in most crops but one application of metaldehyde has sufficed in most situations so far. Any future applications will be ferric phosphate.

Weed control: All weeds coming up quickly where pre ems not applied in time..

North East: It's been a busy week for sowing with a lot of crops now in the ground. However, it's a bit dry in some places to get the seed chitted. Most advance crops now at the one leaf stage.

Weed control: cleavers beginning to emerge.

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Winter Barley

South East: Winter barley drilling now mostly completed. Main varieties are Volume, KWS Cassia, Glacier and Cassata.

Eastern Counties: Most crops now in but later sown crops have patchy emergence due to dry seed beds. Main varieties are Cassia and Glacier with a bit of Volume.

West Midlands: Most forward crops at 2 leaf stage, emerging in 7 days from point of drilling! Approximately 50% in.

East Midlands: Crops drilled but none emerged yet. Glacier increasing in popularity.

North East: A lot sown this week. Earliest sown now at 2 leaf stage. Main varieties are Cassia, Volume and Bamboo.

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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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