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Very close up shot of wheat crop ears in field

Report: 02 May 2014 (for week beginning 28 April 2014)

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

: 2 May 2014. Flag leaves in winter wheat are making a record early appearance this year. The earliest record we have from trials data is for full flag leaf (GS 39) on 17 May, this was a crop of September sown Glasgow at Andover, Hants in 2005. Septoria remains the main threat particularly after recent heavy rain showers. Winter oilseed rape is at mid-flowering for most with some earlier crops beginning to turn green again. Seed weevil numbers are building in southern crops. Winter barley disease levels remain low as crops move towards awn emergence.

Seed weevil numbers building in South:

T2 fungicides planned:

Sclerotinia - second sprays:

Yellow rust where no T0 applied:

Slugs active in wheat crops:

Wild oats emerging:

Awns emerging in winter barley:

Flag leaf emerging on forward wheat:

Seed Weevil: Larvae feeding in the pods can damage up to a quarter of the developing seeds and where a high percentage of pods have been affected this can equate to an overall yield loss of 5 - 10%, however additional yield losses may result from Brassica pod midge which can exploit feeding damage and egg laying scars to deposit their eggs. ADAS thresholds are 0.5 weevils/plant in northern Britain and 1 weevil/plant elsewhere. Source: Bayer Pest Spotter

Winter Wheat

image from FoL

Septoria threatens (photo courtesy Farming Online).

South East: September and early October sown crops of Gallant, Solstice, and Cordiale now have Flag-leaf 25-75% emerged on main shoots, with flag-leaf up to fully emerged in some early sown crops of Gallant. Claire, Scout, Leeds and Diego are around 10 days behind developmentally, with leaf 2 around 1/3 to 2/3 emerged. Some very wet tramlines again following around 75mm of rain in the last 10 days or so. Needs to stop raining soon otherwise a repeat of travelling conditions of 2012 looks likely to be repeated as water tables are still very high.

Septoria: recent rain splash events now mean that Septoria will be actively moving between leaf layers, as earlier sown crops that have the flag leaf emerging now, could be vulnerable to infection for up 2 weeks until emergence is complete.

Yellow Rust: none seen since T0 applications were made.

Brown Rust: generally only low levels detectable at present.

Mildew: slight increase this week as crops respond to applied nitrogen and canopies thicken up.

Eyespot: wet soil conditions and frequent rain events are increasing the frequency of stem based browning symptoms and clear eyespot lesions can be readily found on the more susceptible varieties (Cordiale, Solstice and Gallant) particularly on heavier soils.

Weed control: some surviving patches of blackgrass in a few areas.

Aphids: despite generally mild winter conditions no adults have been found to date. No signs of BYDV showing up yet either.

Eastern Counties: Crops at GS 33 onward up to flag leaf emerging on some forward crops. Flag leaf at 2cm emerged on 1st May in forward Santiago. Septoria in the wetter regions is exploding. Yellow rust is a real problem on some northerly farms where T0 did not go on due to the weather.

Septoria: Septoria pressure high where SDHI not used at T1.

Yellow Rust: only found where a T0 did not go on.

Brown Rust: trace levels.

Mildew: trace levels.

Eyespot: not significant.

East Midlands: Forward crops at flag leaf emerging with many crops at leaf 2 fully emerged and later crops at GS 32/33. Field conditions good and weather has been favourable with few showers. A few forward crops to get T2 in week or so as flag emerging now ? earliest I have ever done it. We look about 10 days ahead of normal.

Septoria: leaves 3-5 generally clean with a bit on leaf 5 but leaf 3 and 4 clean so far.

Yellow Rust: now under control from T1 sprays.

Brown Rust: none seen.

Mildew: levels continue to be low.

Eyespot: levels remain variable but still generally lowish with just a few hot spots.

Weed control: Blackgrass ears now starting to emerge.

Slugs: high numbers in some crops with heavy grazing of leaves 4 and 5.

West Midlands: Early September sown wheat all has flag leaf emerging (anywhere from just poking out to 30% out) quite deceptive on short versus tall crops as some tall crops just poking the flag leaf out and some short crops are the opposite (eg Grafton). Grafton doing its normal thing and speeding up to get to harvest!

Septoria: worst infections seen for some time. Early sown crops have lost leaf 5 with leaf 4 either gone or 15-50% infected, with leaf 3 tips also showing symptoms.

Yellow Rust: no new infections seen.

Brown Rust: none seen.

Mildew: very little seen.

Eyespot: huge range of incidence ranging from only a few percent up to 35% of tillers.

Weed control: more cleavers have emerged along with groundsel and volunteer oilseed rape, some fields still have only small cleavers at very low levels.

Slugs: shredding wheat after rape all the way up to final leaf emerged, not sure which is worse, the shredding or the Septoria.

North East: Crops range between GS 32-33 with most at GS32. T1 fungicide treatments are now mostly completed in good conditions.

Septoria: present in many crops.

Yellow Rust: controlled by T0 fungicides.

Brown Rust: none seen.

Mildew: none seen.

Eyespot: developing in a few crops, sharp eyespot seen as well.

Weed control: Polygonum weeds, charlock, wild oats and other spring weeds starting to emerge.

Take-all: confirmed from lab test, on crop seed treated for take-all. This is an early sighting.

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Winter Oilseed Rape

image from FoL

Seed weevil numbers increasing (photo from Farming Online),

South East: All crops now typically at mid to late flowering, with only about 25% flower left on main raceme of Alienor and Trinity.

Seed Weevil: beginning to find increasing numbers of adults in many crops.

Sclerotinia: with soil temperatures again around 9-10ºC this week, coupled with some milder nights (+7ºC) and lots of showery rain, conditions have been very conducive to Sclerotinia infection.

Eastern Counties: Crops look remarkably well, after beginning stem extension early with little branching they have now branched well and have enjoyed a good flowering period. The fungicide/growth regulator applications made at green/yellow bud seem to have evened the flowering and height of the crops which now look very uniform.

Seed Weevil: difficult to find.

Sclerotinia: all crops have received one flowering fungicide spray, now trying to decide whether or not to apply a second as the two week interval (or more) is up and most crops are still in full flower - although some of the earlier ones are just going out of flower. It has been very dry in the East although a few areas have had more showers.

Light Leaf Spot: no recent infections.

Weed control: pleased with the poppy control applications made in November and January.

East Midlands: Now past mid flowering with some crops with just 2-3 weeks flowering to go. Many crops look very well with good pod set.

Seed Weevil: numbers generally low and below threshold but the odd report of a few crops being sprayed.

Sclerotinia: second Sclerotinia spray to go on where 3 week period coming to an end and crop potential looks very good.

Light Leaf Spot: levels remain low.

West Midlands: Main stem on most crops has finished flowering and some forward crops just looking as though they are starting to turn green again. Getting ever closer to 21 days since main Sclerotinia spray applied. Hoping for high pressure to move in and petals all to drop under cool nights and dry days.

Seed Weevil: none seen.

Sclerotinia: may need to apply a second fungicide if flowering continues.

Light Leaf Spot: trace levels in some crops.

North East: Crops range from GS 4.1 to 4.6, 10% to 60% buds open. Average temperature for the week was 10.1ºC and 9.4mm of rain.

Seed Weevil: none at thresholds.

Sclerotinia: control sprays main focus as there is a high risk of petal stick expected at the end of this week with wet forecast.

Light Leaf Spot: under control now.

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Winter Barley

South East: Crops now generally at GS 39-52 and any outstanding late PGR applications now need completing urgently before ears begin emerging. Thoughts now turning to T2 sprays aimed at when awns visible ? likely to be from 7-10 days time.

Eastern Counties: Awns soon to emerge and disease levels very low.

West Midlands: Flag leaf to awns emerging. T2 starting end of this week, most will be next week. Disease levels very low.

East Midlands: Crops at flag leaf to awns just showing. Both net blotch and Rhynchosporium levels low with good control from T1. T2 to go on as awns emerge.

North East: Flag leaf emerging. Low levels of mildew, net-blotch and Rhynchosporium. Brown rust seen in Cassia.

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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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