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Very close up shot of wheat crop ears in field

Report: 07 March 2014 (for week beginning 03 March 2014)

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

7 March 2014: The forecast for a drier, warmer spell could not come at a more opportune time. It should mean that fields finally drain enough to allow us back on the land. Oilseed rape crops are all moving towards green buds visible above the crop and will be vulnerable to pollen beetle for the next week or two. Forward winter wheat crops are at GS30, T0 fungicide timing and Yellow rust and Septoria are currently the main threats. Nitrogen+Sulphur applications are due for winter rape, winter barley, second and late sown wheat crops.

: Light leaf spot at high levels in South

: Pollen beetle threat as temperatures rise

: T0 fungicides planned for forward crops of wheat

: Blackgrass - outstanding herbicides need applying

: Yellow rust at low levels in most regions

: Net-blotch and Rhynchosporium at low levels

Pollen Beetle: Migration into crops starts when temperatures reach 12 - 15 0C
- <30 plants/m2 ~ 25 pollen beetles/plant
- 30-50 plants/m2 ~ 18 pollen beetles/plant
- 50-70 plants/m2 ~ 11 pollen beetles/plant
- >70 plants/m2 ~ 7 pollen beetles/plant

Winter Oilseed Rape

image from FoL

Watch out for pollen beetle as temperatures rise.

South East: All crops are now extending and range from early stem extension (Quartz) to Green bud (Alienor) - many have retained a significant canopy this year, with GAI of 2-3 being common. N+S Applications are underway as crops move through early stem extension. Similar early extension and canopy structure in many crops to 2012, raising lodging concerns.

Pollen beetle: starting to be found in crops in south east.

Light leaf spot: some crops/varieties are only carrying low levels (10-20%) of infection, particularly Trinity, Expower and Ovation, while some other crops are carrying severe levels of infection (60-80% of plants) particularly Alienor, Quartz and Charger.

Weed control: most residual herbicide was eventually applied between December and end of January but a few fields were missed out as just too wet.

Eastern Counties: Crops are moving at a pace, in most cases with green buds well clear of the leaf canopy. There has been some field activity with fertiliser spreaders flying about on rape crops in the last couple of days

Light leaf spot: very low levels seen.

Pollen beetle: scarce due to recent light frosts, but be vigilant as the coming week turns warmer.

Weed control: it is now too late in many crops for further broad-leaved weed control.

East Midlands: Most crops starting to lose wet feet effects with new green growth. Forward crops have flower buds showing. Early nitrogen now going on where conditions allow.

Light leaf spot: levels remain low and most crops look clean of disease.

Pollen beetle: none seen yet.

Weed control: it is now too late in many crops for further broad-leaved weed control.

West Midlands: Majority of crops at green buds visible and some are showing signs of stem extension. Crops not looking as big, bushy and forward as they did a month ago but they are now being assessed for any PGR fungicides.

Pollen beetle: recent frosts have kept them at bay so far.

Club root: two cases now both on Troy, - going to start investigating purple patches to a greater degree now as initial thoughts were that the stunting was because the crop was sat in water.

Phytophthora: some crops in particularly wet fields have succumbed. Symptoms are purple stunted plants. In some cases the entire root system below ground has completely rotted away and plants can be easily pulled from the soil.

Light leaf spot: none seen anywhere.

Weed control: Charlock and runch are the main issue and unfortunately it is now too late in most crops for control.

North East: Most crops are now at stem extension. There have been a few frosts over the last week and average temperatures have held at 5 C. Ground conditions are good for traveling in many fields

Pollen beetle: none seen.

Light Leaf Spot: none seen.

Weed control: Residual herbicide worked well in warm winter.

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Winter Wheat

image from FoL

Yellow rust evident in crops

South East: Wheats vary in appearance from a healthy verdant green in well drained fertile locations to a kaleidoscope like range of Green-Yellow-Orange-Purple in the same field reflecting the wetter areas. Growth stages are generally late tillering to early stem extension, with the most advanced fields being close to GS30 - primarily Gallant and Cordiale. Having had between 24-28 inches of rain since the beginning of December (and with another ¾ inch of rain/hail on Monday), lower lying and heavier fields remain saturated with some standing water evident - however, we have fortunately not suffered the catastrophic flooding issues of the Thames.

Brown rust: pustules can be found in many September drilled wheats (especially Solstice, Grafton, Cordiale and Scout).

Yellow rust: evident in non-dressed crops of Solstice and Gallant.

Weed control: later sown crops that did not receive any autumn herbicides are now a priority. Bromes are more obvious on headlands.

Eastern Counties: Some 20th September drilled Solstice is approaching growth stage 30, the T-zero timing. These crops will need to be treated in the next 7-10 days. The vast majority of feed wheat is 2 weeks or more away from GS 30, this may change with higher than expected temperatures.

Yellow rust: present in quite a few varieties.

Brown rust: trace levels seen.

Mildew: trace levels.

Eyespot: beginning to become more apparent.

Septoria: obvious on lower leaves.

Weed control: black-grass control where no autumn control will be required fairly soon. Some untreated fields have large blackgrass!

East Midlands: Wheats continue to grow well and many have now lost the yellowing effects of wet feet. A few forward crops at GS 29. Some travel possible end of last week but 14 mm rain over weekend has stopped most work for now and waiting for fields to dry out, with some very wet patches in some fields.

Yellow rust: still remains localised and no major problems yet.

Brown rust: none seen.

Septoria: found on lower leaves but many lower leaves have died off and aim will be to protect new growth.

Mildew: low levels.

Weed control: later drilled crops showing low levels of meadow grass.

West Midlands: The most advanced crops are now approaching GS30 and T0 fungicides are planned for this coming week. The majority of crops are between early to late tillering. Light land will now travel but there are still some very wet areas in many fields.

Yellow rust: low levels.

Brown rust: none seen.

Septoria: early sown crops carrying high levels.

Mildew: recent frosts keeping this under control.

Weed control: bromes are becoming apparent and need to be controlled as soon as possible.

North East: Most crops are between GS 23 -25. However, some forward crops beginning to extend and there are some lush crops with many tillers in some instances.

Yellow rust: seen in Viscount - T0 planned.

Brown rust: found in Target - T0 planned.

Mildew: levels have declined.

Septoria: present in many crops.

Weed control: cleavers and knotgrass beginning to emerge.

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Winter Barley

South East: Crops now generally at GS 24-29 - main priority is to apply N+S as soon as conditions allow. Low levels of Net-blotch and high levels of brown rust seen in Volume.

Eastern Counties: Some crops are very thick and are at GS 28+ and fairly consistent. Rhynchosporium and Net-blotch present at low levels.

West Midlands: Crops recovering from the wet conditions and most are at end of tillering. Rhynchosporium and Net-blotch present at low levels.

East Midlands: Hybrids look well. Crops showing new growth and looking well at GS 24-26 with good plant stands. Mildew can be found at low levels on hybrid barley. Net-blotch at trace levels.

North East: Crops range from GS 24 to GS 29. Some crops are lush with many tillers. Low levels of mildew, Net-blotch and brown rust.

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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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