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Very close up shot of wheat crop ears in field

Report: 13 April 2015 (for week beginning 06 April 2015)

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

: There is an east west divide in crop development. Cooler conditions in the east have kept crop development on a more normal trajectory whilst those in the west have rocketed forward in the last 10 days. Typically we would not expect to see the emergence of final leaf three in winter wheat until the middle of April. However, some early-mid September sown wheat crops in the West now have final leaf 3 fully emerged. Most report that disease levels in winter cereals remain low as we enter this spring fungicide timings. Winter oilseed rape is beginning to flower and pollen beetle numbers should not pose to much of a problem. Spring cereal sowing is nearing completion and many crops have now started to emerge.

Final leaf 3 emerging in early sown forward wheat:

Brown rust in South and East in barley and wheat:

Cabbage Stem Flea Beetle larvae high in some crops: See our Spring assessment results.

Pollen beetle increasing:

Winter Wheat

image from FoL

Brown rust at low levels (picture from Farming Online).

South East: Crops still range from early stem extension (November sowings) to early GS 31 (Cordiale/Solstice) – warm weather in the last few days is encouraging more rapid crop growth and leaf emergence, with most September sown crops now having leaf 4 around 40-75% emerged, with tip of leaf 3 showing in apex of main shoots now quite widely. With most T0 applications being made post-Easter, should provide a very effective protective base to fungicide programmes as are going onto newly emerging leaves under relatively low disease pressure.

Brown Rust: odd pustules still evident on lower leaves of September sown Crusoe and Cordiale.

Mildew: still mostly absent, but has increased on fields where fertility is higher and canopies quite thick (Solstice and Skyfall), indicating that it may develop more widely on susceptible varieties now that rapid new growth is underway.

Septoria: still very obvious on older leaves of all September and early October sown wheats – leaf 5 remains clean however even in earliest sown crops.

Yellow Rust: none seen to date.

Eyespot: stem based browning increasingly visible now on earliest sown wheats as crops move into stem extension.

Weed control: Blackgrass generally only low levels present in most fields following autumn residuals. Moderate levels of meadow grass now in any unsprayed crops drilled in late October/November.

Eastern Counties: Early drilled crops now at GS31 with leaf 4 emerging or emerged. Some very close to GS32 (e.g. Gallant) but still with leaf 4 emerged. Later drilled wheats just getting to GS31.

Brown Rust: traces on thick areas e.g. overlaps, in all varieties.

Mildew: traces on Leeds.

Septoria: obvious on old leaves in all situations.

Yellow Rust: none seen to date.

Eyespot: none seen.

Weed control: main hotspots have had reasonable control from pre-ems but large over wintered weeds remain.

East Midlands: Warmer days have moved crops on and most now at GS 30 with a few forward ones at GS 30-31. Vast majority of crops look well. Field conditions now recovered allowing operations although some wet patches in fields have delayed spring crop drilling.

Brown Rust: none seen.

Mildew: trace levels only.

Septoria: plenty on older leaves but upper leaves and new growth clear so far.

Yellow Rust: none seen to date.

Eyespot: low levels.

Weed control: blackgrass control showing effects (and where no effects!).

West Midlands: Pretty much all early sown Grafton, Solstice, Evolution and Reflection have leaf 3 emerging to fully out. Mid/end September first wheats also not far off this growth stage. Majority of second wheats are leaf four half out. Some very forward crops, although none too thick. Thankfully ground conditions improving rapidly but some of the headlands will probably now not dry out until the summer.

Brown Rust: none seen.

Mildew: starting to re-appear on crops of Leeds.

Septoria: very obvious on lower leaves of early sown crops but leaf 5 remains clean.

Yellow Rust: low levels in Oakley.

Eyespot: some nasty lesions on varying crops (Leeds, JB Diego) but not penetrating as yet and restricted to outer leaf sheath.

Gout Fly: most fields have got some plants with damage.

Weed control: Bromes seem much worse on second wheat minimum tilled crops than those after rape or potatoes.

North East: Late drilled crops are now at mid tillering GS 24. September drilled crops are now at early stem extension GS 30.

Brown Rust: none seen.

Mildew: traces on Leeds and early sown Invicta.

Septoria: Early sown JB Diego worse than other years, Santiago also bad, disease has not progressed with the cold dry weather.

Yellow Rust: very obvious signs in Santiago.

Eyespot: none seen.

Weed control: blackgrass control looks like it will be between 20 and 60%. Poppies are evident.

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Winter Oilseed Rape

image from FoL

Pollen beetle on oilseed rape buds (picture from Farming Online).

South East: All crops are now in stem extension with buds visible – a few crops of Trinity have first flowers just visible.

Phoma: no new leaf spots found.

Cabbage Stem Flea Beetle: still only find very low levels of larvae in petioles of crops in our region.

Pollen Beetle: some crops are now approaching threshold levels.

Eastern Counties: Fields now coming into flower, recent warm, sunny conditions have meant that the rape has grown rapidly. Other more backward fields only at early green bud and below knee height. Crops are very uneven. In some fields shorter plants, in amongst taller plants, have lost their dominant growing point and become branched due to flea beetle larvae damage.

Light Leaf Spot: the disease is now less evident on newer growth but can still readily be found. Seems worse on more susceptible varieties.

Cabbage Stem Flea Beetle: large numbers of CSFB larvae in stems of some plants but not universal in all fields. Not necessarily corresponding to areas where adult beetles were a problem. Larvae not seeming to enter buds.

Weed control: a few of the very large poppies seem to have escaped treatment but on the whole control has been good. The frost has controlled around 60% of Charlock.

East Midlands: Varies from green bud to first flowers but majority at yellow bud. Windy weather last week delayed all operations.

Light Leaf Spot: at risk crops sprayed and new growth is now clean.

Cabbage Stem Flea Beetle: no damage seen.

Pollen Beetle: levels starting to rise but only averaging about 2 per plant so it's a watch and see situation - warm weather will hopefully push flowers out before any build-up.

West Midlands: No flowers on Monday 6th April morning but same fields starting to flower by that afternoon! Since then crops all over the place have started to flower and going more yellow by the day.

Phoma: no new sightings.

Light Leaf Spot: most noticeable on varieties with a 4/5 rating, e.g. Charger and Cubic.

Cabbage Stem Flea Beetle: no damage to petioles.

Pollen Beetle: high levels in some crops.

North East: Crops range from early green bud to yellow bud. Some crops are utilising soil Nitrogen well this season owing to lower winter rainfall.

Phoma: no new sightings.

Light Leaf Spot: still easy to find.

Pollen Beetle: easy to find, but so far below thresholds.

Cabbage Stem Flea Beetle: larvae found in only a few crops.

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Winter Barley

image from FoL

Crops mainly disease free (photo from Farming Online).

South East: Crops typically are still in range GS29-30+ and beginning to grow rapidly with arrival of warmer weather. All first main N splits been applied and final N applications likely next week onwards. Low levels of Mildew beginning to develop on newer leaves now in thicker crops of Cassia/Glacier and Cassata. Net-blotch and Rhynchosporium remain at low levels. Brown rust beginning to develop rapidly in any untreated crops of Volume or Cassia.

Eastern Counties: Growth stage 31 generally. Disease levels remain low with only traces of Mildew, Net-blotch and Rhynchosporium apparent in thicker crops.

West Midlands: Majority of crops now at GS 31, just a few still at GS 30 where could not get early nitrogen on due to too wet to travel. Surprising levels of Mildew considering the cold weather, to the extent where it is evident on newer growth, none looks too healthy but in the thicker crops there is too much to ignore.

East Midlands: Generally at GS 30/31- and looking well. Enough Rhynchosporium on Glacier to cause some concern. A few fields quite bad for pansies and mayweed on lighter land.

North East: Late tillering to start of stem extension but recent rain has helped crops. Crops remain relatively free of disease with only traces of Mildew to be found.

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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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