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Very close up shot of wheat crop ears in field

Report: 31 October 2014 (for week beginning 27 October 2014)

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

: Continuing mild weather means that crops are further forward than usual. Winter rape crops are almost out of hand in some places where large canopies have developed, Phoma levels are still low but more common. In winter wheat mildew and brown rust can be found. Early sown crops have developed multiple tillers. Soil mineralisation continues and crops are very verdant for the time of year. Manganese deficiency in light land winter barley has developed quickly over the last week.

Slugs: a fresh hatch has lead to increase in activity this week.:

Brown rust in South.:

Frit fly damage in winter wheat following oats.:

Phoma more common.:

Net-blotch and mildew in winter barley.:

Winter Wheat

image from FoL

Gout fly eggs on winter wheat seedlings (photo courtesy Farming Online).

South East: Earliest sown wheats now at GS21+, with many fields now typically around GS11-13.

Frit Fly: 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: slug active 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.

Brown Rust: trace levels in Claire.

Blackgrass: likelihood is that emergence will be largely completed by mid-November due to quality of seedbeds, and herbicide timings will consequently be geared towards mid-November.

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

Slugs: a recent hatch is causing problems and fields need monitoring in this mild weather.

Aphids: becoming more apparent in some crops, further control may be necessary.

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 GS12-21. Soils travelable and some late drilling after maize possible until rain stopped play. Generally soils dry on top.

Aphids: numbers remain low.

Slugs: still very active and continue to be easily found under clods with some patches thin but should be OK.

Blackgrass: blackgrass now starting to emerge in a few earlier crops but later drilled crops show very little so far

West Midlands: This mild weather is playing havoc with early sown crops. They have now got three to four tillers on them and look more like silage leys. Later sown crops are all at three leaf stage.

Mildew: trace levels on early sown Grafton and Leeds.

Aphids: easy to find on non dressed crops.

Frit Fly: damage common in crops following winter oats particularly in south of region.

Slugs: looks like we've had a fresh hatch judging by the amount of grazing now happening. Nowhere damaging yet.

Weed control: good flush of broad leaf weeds where no pre-ems applied, plate sized chickweed in some crops.

North East: Another dry and warm week with average temperature for the week around 12.4 degrees. Total rainfall for the week was 4.1 mm. However, windy conditions have not been ideal for spraying. Most forward crops now at first tiller stage.

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 levels increasing (photo from Farming Online).

South East: Range from 3-5 true leaves 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: found in more crops now.

Light Leaf Spot: none seen to date.

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.

Slugs: crops have grown away from further damage.

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

Eastern Counties: Growth continues, on fertile sites plants are knee high. Plants have a solid stem and most sit close to the ground. Leaf size is large. Some uneven, growth and colouring showing up on compacted wet headlands for example. Very windy and some showers but there have been a few opportunities to spray.

Phoma: most crops have been treated and lesions have dried up. On unsprayed fields levels of Phoma have continued to increase slowly. There is a lot of foliage in most crops with large plants so the risk of severe stem cankers forming is low.

Light Leaf Spot: none seen so far.

Aphids: wingless aphids are easy to find in bottom of crops sheltered on underside of leaves.

Weed control: post-em graminicides have produced variable results on blackgrass – not complete kill generally and several survivors are growing back.

East Midlands: Forward crops continue to grow with bigger leaves covering ground and many crops at 8-10 leaves. Later emerged crops due to dry soils at 3-5 leaves but patchy emergence although all should make crops.

Phoma: first Phoma seen and gearing everyone up for fungicides.

Aphids: levels remain very low with just the odd one.

Slugs: some damage to smaller backward plants and causing plant loss and grazing on leaves of bigger plants but not a problem with these.

Weed control: many crops have high ground cover so may have to wait for some leaf loss before spraying. Continue to find disappointing control of blackgrass. Groundsel in high numbers in some crops but not a problem apart from one or two very thick patches – we no longer have early frosts to knock these out.

West Midlands: Some crops are worryingly tall and thick, hoping for some very heavy frosts sooner rather than later before any heavy snowfall causes a lot of damage (think I will look for flower buds next week!).

Phoma: more crops now with low levels.

Aphids: still difficult to find in crops in the south and west of the region. More evident further east. Parasitised aphids are quite common.

Weed control: cleavers emerging.

North East: Crops establishing well across all fields. Growth ranges from 4 to 8 leaves.

Phoma: occasional spots visible now.

Slugs: low levels of activity only.

Pigeons: beginning to flock.

Weed control: pre–emergence herbicides giving good control of weeds to date. Hedge mustard (Sisymbrium officinale) is been seen more often.

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Winter Barley

image from FoL

Crops mainly disease free (photo from Farming Online).

South East: Drilling completed, with earliest sown crops now at 3 leaves+. Crops appear clear of any foliar diseases.

Eastern Counties: Most crops are in and a lot emerging. Most forward crops at GS22.

West Midlands: 95% of the crop now in with most forward crops at 2 tiller stage. Net-blotch and mildew just starting to appear in some crops. Manganese deficiency showing in a lot of crops.

East Midlands: Crops look well at GS14-22. Crops remain free of disease.

North East: Crops range from drilling to GS12. Crops remain free of disease. Aphids in some crops.

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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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