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Very close up shot of wheat crop ears in field

Report: 22 November 2013 (for week beginning 18 November 2013)

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

22 November 2013: Wet conditions have held up field work in most regions but a drier spell in the South has allowed some catch-up. Phoma is now at threshold levels in all regions except the North East. Mildew levels in cereals have not developed in the recent colder spell. HGCA reporting that the aphid autumn migration is now all but finished for this year.

: Phoma at threshold levels in most regions

: Slugs still active

: Blackgrass - outstanding herbicides need applying

Winter Oilseed Rape

image from FoL

Phoma developing in wetter conditions

South East: Crops now range from 5 true leaf to 6-8+ true leaves - many crops are now 5-6+ true leaves. Mild conditions continue to favour rapid growth and around half of crops will have had a growth regulatory fungicide applied by early November.

Phoma: leaf spotting increased rapidly in early November on unsprayed crops of varieties with resistance scores of 6 or below, with up to 50%+ plants showing leaf spotting. All unsprayed crops were sprayed around 7-10 days ago and 'bleaching' control of Phoma leaf spots is already evident in these crops.

Weed control: Herbicide is planned to be sequenced following earlier graminicides and around 4-6 weeks after previous fungicide applications later in November/December.

Eastern Counties: Rape growth rate has slowed down but generally good canopies to go into the winter. More rain has meant there have been very few spray days. There are some very soggy headlands.

Phoma: have not managed to finish spraying all fields for phoma and there is plenty of phoma about. Outstanding fields need spraying as a matter of priority.

Weed Control: now applying Kerb as soon as we can travel.

East Midlands: Forward crops starting to lose some older leaves. On the whole most crops at 6-7 leaves and look well, apart from a few purple patches where wet feet.

Phoma: levels continue to increase but 90% crops sprayed.

Slugs: a few backward crops showing some damage and will require a low rate of pellets.

Weed Control: All Herbicide now on in cool conditions onto moist soils. Pre ems and early post ems have worked well with many crops fairly clean. Mayweed in some crops got through pre/post ems and will be tidied up in spring.

West Midlands: Some crops now quite tall especially following manure applications. There are some crops showing die back of older leaves and purpling where they are sat in cold wet soils.

Phoma: most crops now at or approaching threshold level although some crops still remain remarkably free of disease.

Weed Control: some bad fields of charlock/runch hoping for a period of frosty weather.

North East: Growth has slowed down as temperatures drop and most crops now range from 5 to 8 true leaves. Average temperature for the week: 6.4 degrees.

Phoma: seen at low levels.

Weed Control: Hedge mustard seen in more rape crops than usual.

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Winter Wheat

image from FoL

Wheat crops establishing quickly

South East: Having had a week or so of largely dry weather, soils have drained away well and ploughing and drilling of wheat following late harvested maize and vegetables is finally underway again. Soils still relatively warm (8-90C), and crops continue to develop - earliest sown crops (20th Sept) now at GS22-24+, with most crops typically being around GS21-22. Several benign days last weekend have enabled many farmers to catch up with a considerable backlog of spraying.

Aphids: still none seen in emerged crops.

S;ugs: some slug activity still evident in crops after oilseed rape - most of damage now appears to be foliar shredding being caused by juvenile/pin-head grey field slugs.

Weed Control: where blackgrass is emerged and already at 2 leaves+, we will be overspraying these fields at the first opportunity.

Eastern Counties: In the majority of fields of wheat there is a level of yellowing to the crop. In most cases this is a combination of soil wetness with herbicide uptake adding significantly to these effects. Headlands and spray overlaps are often worse.

Aphids: flights into crops now over.

Slugs: only some grazing in fields after oilseed rape.

Weed Control: residual herbicides have worked well, in most cases.

East Midlands: Crop growth has now slowed down and forward crops are now at 4 leaf to 1 tiller stage, but on average crops at 3-4 leaves with later crops at 2-3 leaves. Fields now very wet with some standing water. Some drilling has been possible where drilling after plough but in many fields it is too wet for any field work.

Aphids: levels low and in many cases spraying has been delayed due to weather. Where herbicides still to go on an aphicide will be applied in the mix where risk warrants it, although we are now approaching the time of year when the risk falls (unless December becomes mild which seems unlikely).

Slugs: some patches of grazing but on the whole risk is now mainly over.

Weed Control: some spraying still to be done but luckily the colder weather has slowed the blackgrass down. Generally blackgrass is at 1-3 leaves. Some fields now too wet to carry sprayer.

West Midlands: Most forward crops have 4 tillers, average crop stage is probably GS 21. Crops drilled 3 weeks ago are through at GS 1.0, crops drilled 2 weeks ago are just about to come through with crops drilled last week chitting. Half wheat acreage after fodder beet is in and probably 80% wheat after maize is in. Remaining drilling (other than after beet) will need a good 7-10 days of drying weather to have any chance of getting it in ). Fields easily as wet as this time last year with plenty of water lying in fields especially headlands.

Slugs: renewed activity in some fields after maize and some second wheat crops.

Aphids: still trying to get non Deter crops sprayed with herbicide + aphicide, some of which have been up for 6-8 weeks, none have had a second application as yet (1st application 4+ weeks ago).

Mildew: obvious in most early sown crops, irrespective of variety.

Weed Control: recent rains have helped activate pre-emergence herbicides. Bromes are more obvious this year on headlands.

North East: Crops continue to grow although temperatures are cooling down, most forward crops now at GS 23. All first wheats are in now.

Aphids: few winged aphids sighted.

Slugs: seen surface grazing, increased activity from last week.

Brown rust: first sighting of odd pustule on Alchemy.

Mildew: at low level in some forward crops.

Septoria: first infections seen in a few crops.

Weed Control: pre emergent herbicides are now working well on broad leaved weeds.

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Winter Barley

South East: Earliest sown crops now at GS22+ (most crops are now at GS21+).

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: Crops at 2 tiller stage. Mildew levels not getting any worse and colder weather is preventing its development.

East Midlands: Crops at 1-2 tillers on the whole and look well but a bit stressed by wet feet. Some crops have had a manganese+bittersaltz+ cypermethrin where manganese deficiency showing up.

North East: Earliest sown now at first tiller stage. Net-blotch developing in crops at low levels.

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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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