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Very close up shot of wheat crop ears in field

Report: 06 December 2013 (for week beginning 02 December 2013)

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

06 December 2013: A dry spell has let many catch up with field work and reports suggest that most of planned autumn crops have been sown. Phoma in oilseed rape developed quickly in mid November but no reports of fresh infections. Yellow and brown rust reported in winter wheat albeit at trace levels. Disease levels in some winter barley crops are causing concern.

: Phoma no new infections yet

: Slugs still active

: Blackgrass - outstanding herbicides need applying

: Yellow rust in central an eastern areas.

: Brown rust in NE

Winter Oilseed Rape

image from FoL

Phoma developing in wetter conditions

South East: Crops now mostly range from 6-8+ true leaves - with several frosts in the last few weeks, crops are beginning to shut down, and starting to senesce older leaves. This should open up canopies to enable herbicide applications to get underway.

Phoma: crops with weaker resistance ratings will probably want re-spraying around 4-6 weeks after previous applications.

Weed control: canopies are just beginning to open up and with soil temperatures still around 7-8oc, we are waiting until mid-December before spraying - hopefully this will maximise persistence through to March.

Eastern Counties: Canopy growth now slowed and more forward rape is rapidly losing older leaves and canopies are opening up. Overall we are very pleased with establishment and there are no plants less than 12.5 cm across going into the winter. Some crops have lost colour either where growth has been very forward and the crop is grown on very light infertile soils or due to poor soil conditions, wet headlands etc. generally on heavier soils. Recent dry weather has allowed most to catch up with outstanding spraying and sprayers now being washed down for winter. Still some herbicide waiting for application but expect this to be completed in current weather window.

Light leaf spot: none seen.

Phoma: Phoma sprays now applied, some crops had a high level of spotting, could find older leaves with 10+ phoma lesions in places. PR46W21 seems especially susceptible. Where fungicides have been on for 10 days to two weeks lesions have 'dried up'.

Weed control: Herbicide applied or planned for this week. Just waiting for frosts to help control of charlock.

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

Light leaf spot: none seen yet and sprays should now hold it until spring.

Phoma: all phoma sprays on by end November and no sign yet of any new phoma.

Weed control: good client response to a post emergence gramicide which has done a very good job on blackgrass and ryegrass in all cases.

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: very visible on the older leaves, most recent leaves are clean at the moment. All crops now treated and no new infections seen.

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: still 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: Following over two weeks now of largely dry weather, soils have drained away well and ploughing and drilling of wheats following late harvested maize and vegetables is now largely completed. With soils still relatively warm crops continue to develop steadily - earliest sown crops (20th Sept) are at GS22-24+, with most crops typically being around GS 22. Most cereal spraying has now been completed.

Aphids: still none seen in emerged crops yet (all had seed treatment though) and aphid migration has now largely ceased according to suction trap data.

Slugs: still odd pockets of slug activity evident in crops after oilseed rape or wheat.

Weed control: blackgrass (from GS12-22) only really a problem in earlier sown fields - earlier dry weather did not help efficacy of pre-em sprays applied to crops sown between 20th-28th September. Residual herbicides that were applied at peri- or pre-emergence in early October appear to be working very effectively - many of these fields currently appear to not need an overspray.

Eastern Counties: Crops range from 2 leaf to early mid-tillering. Santiago in particular has grown well. Some late sowing has taken place in drier conditions.

Aphids: migration into crops now over.

Yellow rust: trace levels in Oakley.

Septoria: virtually non existent.

Slugs: some renewed grazing in fields after oilseed rape.

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

East Midlands: Later drilled crops at 3-4 leaves, but many crops have moved little with the cooler weather. Late drilled crops after maize just emerging or yet to emerge. All late drilling now completed. Drying conditions and low rainfall has enabled a lot of drilling and spraying to take place, with only one or two wet patches causing wheeling damage.

Aphids: all aphid sprays now on, usually with herbicide.

Septoria: very low levels on older leaves.

Slugs: levels of damage very low now.

Weed control: all blackgrass sprays now on where required - some fields are very clean after pre ems and will get spring spray if necessary.

Aphids: dry conditions allowing second application of cypermethrin to non Deter crops (although I suspect the horse has all ready bolted as for some it as at least 7 weeks since the first application was applied).

West Midlands: Some crops of wheat now up to 5 tillers, with most crops probably 1-2 tillers. Crops drilled 3 weeks ago are just poking through. All wheat after beet now drilled. Thus looking at 97% + of planned wheat acreage is now drilled. Fields have dried remarkably well over the last 10 days which is allowing us to re-start spraying residuals, 90%+ will probably be sprayed by the end of this week. There will be a few fields that will not get sprayed before the spring as far too wet.

Slugs: some grazing still happening after oilseed rape.

mildew: obvious in most early sown crops but slight frosts over the last two weeks are starting to have an effect on mildew levels.

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.

Slugs: activity still seen in exceptional cases

Brown rust: first sighting of odd rust on Alchemy and Viscount.

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 GS22-24 (most crops are now at GS21-22+). Net-blotch levels increasing.

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

West Midlands: Crops at 3-4 tiller stage. Mildew levels increasing again.

East Midlands: Crops look well and have recovered a bit from wet feet earlier on.

North East: Earliest sown now at first tiller stage. Some mildew on forward crops, checked by colder weather.

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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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