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Report: 21 November 2014 (for week beginning 17 November 2014)

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

21 November 2014: The long open autumn has allowed crops to continue to develop. Many oilseed rape crops are over thick and give complete ground cover. Early sown winter wheat crops now have three to four tillers. The recent rain will have brought field operations to a halt again and some heavy land is now lying wet. Field drains are now running and care needs to be taken to prevent pesticides entering the water course.


  • Slug still active in warm and wet.
  • Brown rust in South.
  • Phoma becoming more obvious in unsprayed crops.
  • Net-blotch and mildew in winter barley.

Winter Wheat

image from FoL

Yellow rust at trace levels

South East: A few drier days has enabled drills to get out again on lighter fields yet to be sown – many lower lying and heavier fields are laying quite wet now and will require another week of largely dry weather to enable any field activity. Earliest sown (10th-15th Sept) wheats now at GS22+, with most fields now typically around GS21+.

Slugs: most crops are now past worst effects of slug grazing, with only re-pelleting of heavier/stonier patches needed in last 10 days or so.

Brown rust: trace levels in Claire.

Blackgrass: emerging quite widely now, with most advanced plants being around GS13-21. For most part however, residuals appear to be providing reasonable levels of control to date. Atlantis applications now underway – likelihood is that emergence will be largely completed by mid-November due to quality of seedbeds, and timings will consequently be geared from now until end of November/early December.

Eastern Counties: Crops range from recently sown through to early/mid tillering. Crops continue to look well.

Slugs: continue to be a problem in some fields and need monitoring in this mild wet weather.

Aphids: mild temperatures keeps this pest in the limelight.

Yellow rust: trace levels on susceptible varieties.

Weed control: pre-emerence herbicides working reasonable well on blackgrass. Now need a dry spell to catch up on post-emergence sprays.

East Midlands: Cooler and wetter soils have slowed development with little change over the last week. Some 60mm rain in last 2 weeks has effectively stopped all work with no fieldwork for 12 days or so.

Aphids: numbers remain low but treatments going on as certain seed treated crops will soon run out of steam.

Slugs: continue to cause problems with some crops that looked safe now being attacked by juveniles after fresh hatch.

Weed control: continues to emerge but in many case at 1-2 leaves or 1 leaf emerging. Herbicides destined to go on as soon as weather permits. Later drilled fields after pre em where crops at GS 11 generally clear so far.

West Midlands: Early sown now 6-8 tillers, some early sown Grafton is so thick that it is falling over on the double drilled areas (pig manure underneath it not helping). A lot of leaf die back due to mildew - time to get sheep on some of the bigger crops.

Mildew: trace levels on early sown Grafton and Leeds.

Aphids: no more sightings.

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

Slugs: some grazing still occurring . Nowhere damaging yet.

Weed control: generally good apart from volunteer oilseed rape in the early sown crops. Blackgrass control not too clever on the earlier sown crops ( mid September ) but where not sown until early October the control is very good.

North East: Mild air temperatures, an average of 3 degrees warmer than last November. Warm nights and days are encouraging blackgrass germination, aphid presence and slug activity. Crops range from just emerging through to two tillers.

Aphids: none seen yet.

Slugs: small patches of shredding still seen with mild weather.

Septoria: first signs appearing.

Weed control: post emergent herbicide for the control of blackgrass is the focus now. Pre–emergence working well on resistant black grass. Good seed beds have helped the efficacy.

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Winter Oilseed Rape

image from FoL

Phoma levels increasing.

South East: Range from 6-7 true leaf up to 8-9 leaves. Crops continue to grow relatively unchecked in response to continuing mild days and nights.

Phoma: readily found in any unsprayed crops now – continuing unsettled weather is favouring spread and infection.

Light Leaf Spot: none seen to date.

Aphids: no further influx of aphids seen.

Cabbage stem flea beetle: no sign of larval invasion of petioles yet.

Weed control: significant flush of blackgrass in many fields where there is a history of the weed. Soil temperatures hovering around 10-11’C are really still too warm for certain herbicide sapplications.

Eastern Counties: A lot of foliage on most crops, plants have large leaves but have not started to go through stem elongation, the growing point sits close to the ground. There is complete ground cover in many fields, however especially on less fertile lighter soils crops have begun to open up and lower leaves are senescing. Some fields have become very uneven in growth Compacted areas are waterlogged and in plants have turned purple in these situations.

Phoma: no further fresh phoma spotting, unlikely to make a second fungicide application pre- new year. Plants are large and risk of any fresh phoma creating stem lesions must be low.

Light Leaf Spot: none seen so far.

Aphids: all crops now sprayed for aphid and hence TuYV control

Weed control: waiting for some frosty weather before targeting charlock, most charlock is very forward and in flower.

East Midlands: Crops still have a large ground cover with good weed suppression.

Phoma: levels have increase slightly but slowly and no crops have reached 10% yet and many crops remain remarkably clean but bigger plants help with sprays destined to go as when weather lets up -even rain free days are still leaving a wet leaf most of the day.

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

Weed control: Propyzamide to go on with phoma spray as soon as able or when crops opens up where very thick.

West Midlands: Most crops are above the knees and far too proud for the time of year. Many crops have complete ground cover. Partridge damage continues to be a real concern on some farms - (conflict of interest ?)

Phoma: levels are increasing as quickly as expected and many untreated crops still well below threshold levels.

Aphids: more common on farms with potatoes in the rotation. More evident further east. No new sightings.

Weed control: cleavers emerging. Still too warm to start applying herbicide

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

Phoma: reaching threshold values.

Slugs: low levels of activity only.

Pigeons: beginning to flock.

Weed control: post emergent working well with good percentage kills on blackgrass.

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Winter Barley

image from FoL

Crops mainly disease free.

South East: Crops range from GS 11 to 22 now. Disease levels remain low.

Eastern Counties: Most crops are in and a lot emerging. Most forward crops at GS 22. Low levels of mildew in some crops but hopefully colder weather should hold it.

West Midlands: Most forward crops at 4 tiller stage. Net-blotch at trace levels as is mildew.

East Midlands: Crops look well but manganese is showing and await weather to settle down for manganese applications. Crops remain free of disease.

North East: Most crops at GS 13 forward crops GS22. 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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