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Very close up shot of wheat crop ears in field

Report: 24 October 2014 (for week beginning 20 October 2014)

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

24 October 2014: A blustery and wet start to the week has put back field operations in some regions. Drilling of winter wheat crops nearing completion and the majority of crops are in good condition. Oilseed rape crops continue to grow with reports of some crops now over thick. Winter barley crops establishing. Sugar beet yields are very good with several fields recently lifted producing over 80t/ha adjusted weight. Sugar % are typically in low 17%.

:

  • Aphids are increasing in oilseed rape crops in South and East.
  • Frit fly damage in winter wheat following oats.
  • Phoma is just beginning to be found in some regions.
  • Net-blotch in winter barley.

Winter Wheat

image from FoL

Gout fly eggs on winter wheat seedlings

South East: Slightly drier conditions over the last few days have enabled some progress with remaining drilling and catching up on outstanding spraying. Some fields are however wet now and will require around a week of dry weather to enable any field activity – forecast for next few weeks is looking more hopeful for settled conditions here in the South. Earliest sown (10th-15th Sept) wheats now at GS21+, with many fields now typically around GS11-13.

Frit fly: almost all fields that have not had a broad-spectrum insecticide applied with glyphosate after winter and spring oats are now showing up to 10-20% frit fly larval invasion of main shoots – particularly prevalent in fields that have been “min-tilled”.

Slugs: wet weather has maintained surface feeding slug activity this week on fields after oilseed rape in particular and cereals after straw crops in general – pelleting of cobblier areas of fields on heavier/stonier soils underway as emerged plants are showing foliar shredding.

Blackgrass: thoughts now turning to post emergence applications for control of blackgrass.

Eastern Counties: Crops range from recently sown through to early/mid tillering. On the whole crops are looking well even where earlier dry conditions delayed emergence. 90% of wheat now in the ground.

Slugs: limited damage after oilseed rape.

Gout fly: some eggs about but not huge numbers.

Aphids: a few more aphids around and crops without treatment will need monitoring.

Weed control: Some robust pre-ems seem to be keeping blackgrass at bay for now.

East Midlands: Forward crops at GS21-22 with late crops at GS 11-12. Second wheat drilled recently and has not emerged yet and still wheat to drill after maize. Fields generally sticky but not enough to prevent field operations.

Aphids: numbers continue to remain low but any crops getting herbicides soon will have cypermethrin in mix

Slugs: activity still found particularly on cloddy soils where seed was in fine soil but emerging through clods and being attacked as it tries to grow round clods but generally little crop loss.

Weed control: hardly any blackgrass emerged yet just the odd one and holding off any post ems for now.

West Midlands: Despite the rainfall last week and this, the drying winds of Sunday and especially Tuesday of this week have helped keep most fields in a decent state such that spraying has kicked off again. Crops range from a few still to drill through to early sown grafton now with 3 tillers. Most crops look in good condition.

Mildew: trace levels on early sown Grafton.

Aphids: easy to find on non dressed crops.

Frit fly: damage common in crops following winter oats.

Slugs: vast majority of fields with very few problems, one block of second wheat has had to be patched twice.

Weed control: good flush of broad leaf weeds where no pre-ems applied.

North East: A warm (average temp: 13.4 degrees) and wet week with 15 mm of rain has led to delays in drilling delayed for those not yet finished owing to unfavourable soil conditions. Most advanced crops now at early tillering.

Aphids: none seen yet.

Slugs: activity picked up a bit and pellets applied to a few patches.

Weed control: pre-emergence residuals are working well with moisture this year on blackgrass. Few cleavers now emerging.

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Winter Oilseed Rape

image from FoL

Phoma starting to enter crops

South East: Range from 3-5 true leaf up to 7-8 leaves – 75% of crops are now around 5-6 true leaves. Crops continue to grow relatively unchecked in response to warm days and nights.

Phoma: first leaf spots being found in more crops now – continuing wet weather will favour spread and infection over the next few weeks and am now anticipating treating most crops when the next weather window permits.

Light Leaf Spot: none seen to date.

Flea beetle: shot holing of cotyledons/leaves still surprisingly hard to find.

Aphids: increasing levels of Myzus persicae nymphs are now being found in many crops, with up to 30% of plants showing infestation in some crops, but many crops still only appear to have around 10-20% infestation – all susceptible varieties (i.e. NOT Amelie) being/will be sprayed in the next 7 days in conjunction with Phoma sprays.

Slugs: after earlier problems, most crops now appear to have grown away from further damage.

Turnip Sawfly: no further larvae being found now following Pyrethroid applications.

Weed control: significant flush of blackgrass in many fields where there is a history of the weed.

Eastern Counties: Rape has still continued to grow we have very sturdy plants with most over 8 leaves and avery thick base to the stem. There is good ground cover in many fields, the rape has been drilled at fairly low seed rates and so is not crowded. All a very good colour. Continued wet and windy weather very few opportunities to spray.

Phoma: levels have increased slightly on untreated crops to date (most) the canopies are large and individual plants large also so the risk of the phoma growing to make severe stem canker is low. A lot of this spraying is still waiting to be completed.

Light Leaf Spot: none seen so far.

Aphids: wingless aphids are easy to find in bottom of crops sheltered on underside of leaves. Now need to spray asap for TuYV control

Weed control: post-em has worked reasonably well on blackgrass, good kill on many plants others left stunted. There is a fresh flush of black grass in areas 1 leaf mainly.

East Midlands: Forward crops continue to cover ground and most crops look well apart from a couple of subsoiler drilled crops where the heavy ground dried out resulting in poor emergence.

Phoma: not one spot seen yet but expect early November to be busy.

Flea beetle: all crops now away with no problems.

Aphids: numbers remain very low with just a couple seen in all crops.

Slugs: damage levels remain low with just a few isolated cases where late drilled and slow growth in dry conditions.

Weed control: post-ems working well but a couple of crops where some blackgrass plants have grown through it with tillers affected but not main stem.

West Midlands: Best crops will be the late sown stuff which only has 4 true leaves and still fairly prostrate. Some crops have at least 8 leaves and are too big and too thick even where sown at 40-45 seeds/sq m

Phoma: more crops now with low levels.

Flea beetle: no signs of further damage.

Aphids: still difficult to find in some crops but evident in others. Parasitised aphids are quite common.

Weed control: One block where post-em applied 3 weeks ago appears to be hitting the blackgrass well.

North East: Crops establishing well across all fields. Growth ranges from 2 to 6 leaves.

Phoma: only occasional spots on susceptible varieties so far.

Slugs: low levels of activity only.

Pigeons: beginning to flock.

Weed control: pre –emergence herbicides giving good control of weeds to date.

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Winter Barley

South East:

: Drilling completed, with earliest sown crops now at 3 leaves+. Crops appear clear of any foliar diseases.
Eastern: Most crops are in and a lot emerging. Most forward crops at GS 11.
West Midlands. 95% of the crop now in with most forward crops at 3 leaf stage. Net-blotch just starting to appear in some crops.
East Midlands. Most crops at GS 14-21 and look well
North East: Crops range from drilling to GS12. Crops remain free of disease.

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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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