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Report: 23 October 2015 (for week beginning 19 October 2015)

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

22 Oct 2015: A good autumn has meant that drilling of winter crops is pretty much complete. However, some later sown oilseed rape crops are still struggling to get fully established. A few aphids beginning to appear in southern crops of oilseed rape but elsewhere numbers are very low to non existent. Blackgrass emergence is high in some places with reports of pre-emergence herbicide failures. Phoma levels in oilseed rape crops still only at threshold levels in southern crops although it is now starting to appear in the North East.


Phoma at threshold levels in south and appearing in all regions.
Aphids appearing in southern oilseed rape crops.
Slugs active decreasing.
Opomyza isolated but high levels of damage in NE
Blackgrass beating pre-ems.

Winter Wheat

image from FoL

Drilling winter wheat

South East: Around 98% of wheat area has now been drilled. Earliest sown crops of wheat now at 3 leaves, with bulk of fields emerging to 1½ to 2 leaves. Soils are moist but before yesterdays rain were drying on top following breezy conditions last week. Some significant crop damage from residual herbicides applied prior to heavy rain on 5th/6th October on heavier and lower lying fields – likely to be some crop loss. Similar reports of damage following drilling with Cross-Slot/Strip-Till type drills where slots have not been adequately closed.

Aphids: none seen.

Slugs: cobblier areas of fields on heavier/stonier soils are also showing some shredding of emerged plants. Otherwise, with the exception of second wheat fields on heavier soils there is very little slug activity of note.

Weed control: blackgrass beginning to show now in earlier sown (3-4 weeks ago) fields that have had pre-em applications, though most are showing signs of herbicide uptake so fingers crossed that good control will ensue.

Eastern Counties: Earliest drilled wheat crops now starting to tiller. However, the majority of crops are at GS 11/12. Second wheats going in or drilled. Generally turned very dry until welcome rain overnight.

Aphids: none found yet.

Slugs: juveniles main problem but dry conditions have slowed activity.

Weed control: first emerging blackgrass in earliest drilled wheat getting to two leaf stage. Further tiny plants emerging now.

East Midlands: Forward crops at GS 12-13 with later drilled crops at GS 11. Blackgrass late drilled crops just chitting. Later drilled crops slow emerging. Crops after maize just being drilled. Soils conditions are good with no problems in establishing crops - in fact seedbed have generally been very good.

Slugs: no problems to seed with good soil cover and little or no grazing yet as crops emerge but wetter weather may change that.

Weed control: blackgrass in some crops emerging as soon as the crop emerges with reports locally of high levels getting through pre emergence herbicides.

West Midlands: Crops range from newly sown through to early tillering. Drilling pretty much completed excepting those following late maize. Most had 10mm of rain Tuesday night which has gone in well, although by Thursday the top has started to dry off again quite rapidly. Fields are noticeably greener than they were this time last week

Slugs: gradually getting on top of majority of issues. On some farms where we were having continuing issues rolling the field (despite pre ems applied) has done the trick.

Gout fly: early sown crops easy to find eggs.

North East: Now at about 80% drilled and of those 75% of the crop has emerged. The most advance crops now at leaf three but the majority of crops are only at single leaf stage. Dryer weather with temperature cooling.

Opomyza: a few fields badly hit.

Slugs: very variable, any damage is mainly following oilseed rape.

Weed control: blackgrass - largest populations ever seen emerging, both stale seed beds and drilled wheat.

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Winter Oilseed Rape

image from FoL

Phoma makes an early appearance in crops

South East: September sown crops are now generally around 2-5 leaves, with August sown crops around 6-7 leaves. Growth remains painfully slow in most September sown crops this year as soil temperatures are several degrees cooler than last Autumn.

Flea beetle: no new damage

Phoma: most crops are now showing leaf spotting with levels ranging from 5% up to 30-40%.

Aphids: Myzus persicae adults were being found at low levels last week and have started finding nymphs on underside of leaves in last few days.

Slugs: most crops finally appear to be getting away from slugs now.

Turnip Sawfly: low levels of larvae found this week in a few August sown fields that have had no pyrethroid applied to date.

Weed control: significant flush in many fields with history of blackgrass.

Eastern Counties: Most crops now range from 3 - 10 true leaves. Recent rain has moistened things up again. Generally good growing conditions though cooler now. Rabbits causing localised crop loss.

Flea beetle: pressure decreasing and restricted to smaller plants in stands, activity may have slowed in cooler conditions.

Phoma: first few lesions being found. Threshold not reached yet in crops but levels are increasing. Monitoring for development. Fungicide now imminent.

Aphids: found only three this week! No treatment unless numbers increase. Monitoring trap numbers.

Slugs: low levels only.

Weed control: light land has a good covering of broad-leaved weeds where no pre-em used. Heavier land and min till has much less, mainly cranesbill and shepherds purse. Charlock prone fields now being assessed for numbers present.

East Midlands: Forward crops at 7 leaves with later crops at 2-5 leaves.

Flea beetle: not really a problem re establishment now.

Phoma: levels still remain very low and below thresholds but gearing up for control sprays at the end of this month to early November depending on when phoma starts to appear.

Slugs: odd crops requiring pelleting but on the whole most crops are now growing away from any damage.

Weed control: Reports locally of high levels of blackgrass getting through and fops/dims (not really unexpected).

West Midlands: Crops range from 2-3 true leaf to monster crops covering the ground.

Flea beetle: very low damage.

Slugs: no crops required pelleting this week.

Phoma: started coming in mid/end of last week. Treatments started.

Weed control: fantastic field conditions with dropping soil temps has meant that 70% of crops have already had residual herbicides applied.

North East: All crops range from 2 leaf to 6 leaf. Crops are generally healthy, although later drilled crops need more attention for pest control.

Flea beetle: no longer a problem on 95% of crops.

Slugs: activity decreasing.

Phoma: first signs of disease on 5% of fields fields on Lincs/Yorks border.

Weed control: high populations of blackgrass.

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Winter Barley

South East: Crops range from emerging to 3 leaves.

Eastern Counties: Earliest drilled crops at GS 21. First few blackgrass seedlings emerging in some crops, earliest weeds have 2-3 leaves.

West Midlands: 95% now in, majority of crops are emerging to GS13.

East Midlands: Crops at 1-3 leaves.

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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