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Very close up shot of wheat crop ears in field

Report: 02 October 2015 (for week beginning 28 September 2015)

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

: 02 Oct 2015. The high pressure over the UK for the last week has enabled many to finish off the delayed harvest and get on with autumn plantings. Unfortunately it seems as though its all change on the weather front from mid-next week, turning wetter for a while.

Oilseed rape - flea beetle pressure highest in eastern counties.:

Winter Wheat

image from FoL

Drilling winter wheat (picture from Farming Online).

South East: Around 70% of first wheats have now been drilled, with good progress since last Thursday when drilling started – still some lower lying and poorly drained blocks that remain wet below an inch or so and will require patience to avoid compromised rooting through poor soil structure. Forage maize harvesting just getting underway, so hopefully will be a drilling window for these in the next few weeks. Earliest sown (10th-15th Sept) wheats now chitted but none emerged to date. Soils generally remain moist or very moist below the surface but are drying rapidly on top following warm and breezy conditions this week.

Main varieties grown this year: Claire, Scout, Cordiale, Crusoe, Skyfall, Trinity and JB Diego are the main varieties for drilling this autumn, with lions share of acreage taken by the first five. Second wheat acreage again being dominated by Cordiale.

Slugs: trapping of fields after oilseed rape pre-drilling was often indicating high slug populations – populations are, however, much lower on those fields that were disced/cultivated twice pre-drilling. Cobblier areas of fields on heavier/stonier soils are showing some signs of shredding of emerged plants.

Eastern Counties: Earliest drilled wheat GS 13. Lots of drilling being done now, mainly first wheats. Seedbeds wet inside but drying quickly on the top where worked.

Main varieties grown this year: Lili, Trinity, Gallant, Solstice, Crusoe, Panorama, Cordiale, Claire, Scout, Leeds, Evolution, Kielder, Santiago, Conqueror, Gator, Diego, Relay.

Slugs: some activity mainly after rape and beans. Heavier soils mainly.

East Midlands: Drilling now underway with cleaner fields drilled first but temptation to go into dirtier fields earlier than blackgrass control would dictate due to quite moist soils and concerns that heavy rain would stop drilling .Week of dry weather has left soils good with dust rising behind cultivators.

Main varieties grown this year: Skyfall for quality and then Invicta, Leeds, Evolution, Diego, Cougar as main feed.

Slugs: about after rape and some pre pelleting before drilling has happened on one or two fields but cultivations in dry conditions will help reduce numbers.

West Midlands: All wheat after rape now in along with a certain amount after winter and spring beans, quite a large area of second wheat now in which started mid last week, several clients will have all wheat in the ground by the end of this week, others will just have wheat after potaoes and maize to drill. Ground conditions improving dramatically although where ploughing ground needs 2-3 days to dry out before putting the combination in.

Main varieties grown this year: Grafton, Lilli, Reflection, Leeds, JB Diego, Crusoe, Skyfall, small amount of Trinity and Revelation.

North East: About 25% of the crop has been drilled with about 5% now at 1 leaf stage. Large populations of blackgrass emerging.

Main varieties grown this year: Leeds, Revelation, Evolution, Zulu, Dickens, Skyfall, Santiago, Lili,Twister, couger, Reflection, Crusoe, J B Diego.

Slugs: activity low at the moment.

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Winter Oilseed Rape

image from FoL

Volunteer spring barley needs controlling (photo from Farming Online).

South East: Cotyledon up to 3-5 leaves – c.75% of crops are now around 1-2 true leaves, though growth is painfully slow this year due to combination of delayed sowing into September and a run of cold nights meaning soil temperatures are several degrees cooler than last Autumn.

Main varieties grown this year: Amalie, Ovation, Campus, Picto, Nikita.

Flea Beetle: shot holing of leaves has again fortunately been surprisingly hard to find this year to date, though low levels of activity are now starting to appear this week.

Slugs: with wet soils and delayed sowing, slugs have unsurprisingly been quite problematic on a range of soil types, particularly in areas where seedbeds poorer and “strawy”.

Eastern Counties: From cotyledons expanding (last drilled) to 6 true leaves on earliest drilled that got away from pests.

Main varieties grown this year: V316, Picto, SY Harnas, Charger, PR46W21, Avatar, Cabernet, Camelot, Quartz.

Flea Beetle: some crops that had a seed treatment in Suffolk have required treatment against some hard grazing pressure. Mid Essex has severe pressure in places. Crops affected have virtually stopped growing. Fertile sites growing rapidly where only under medium pressure.

Slugs: only low levels on heavy land this week.

East Midlands: Forward crops have 3-4 leaves and look well. Later crops at cotyledon – 2 leaves.

Main varieties grown this year: Incentive main hybrid and other main varieties are Charger, Picto, Vision and DK Cabernet.

Flea Beetle: damage almost non existent and no evidence of them.

Slugs: some occasional damage but crops growing away well with warmer weather although some localised pelleting occurring where some damage still found to small plants.

West Midlands: All crops now up and range from cotyledon to 8 true leaf. Most late sown crops now expanded cots/1 true leaf, most forward crops now 8 true leaf and starting to cover the ground.

Main varieties grown this year: Incentive, Harper, Charger, Campus, Nikita , v316 ol, Elgar, PX113, Wembley.

Flea Beetle: very low damage to date most damage on those crops adjacent to last years rape fields (all drilled with wheat now).

Slugs: no crops required pelleting this week.

North East: All crops now in the ground and range from 1 to 4 true leaf.

Main varieties grown this year: Sy Harnes, Picto, D K Cabernet, Trinity, Campus, Fencer, DK Extrovert, Compass, Amalie, DK Excellium.

Flea Beetle: patchy activity from field to field, but no crop losses. Crops improving after sprays.

Slugs: low activity only.

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Winter Barley

South East: Sowing now nearly completed and earliest sown crops just starting to emerge.

Eastern Counties: Earliest drilled crops just emerging.

West Midlands: About 40% of the crop now drilled and most are just emerging, most forward has 2 true leaves.

East Midlands: Being drilled this week.

North East: About 40% of the crop now sown but none has emerged yet.

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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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