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Very close up shot of wheat crop ears in field

Report: 02 November 2015 (for week beginning 26 October 2015)

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

: 30 Oct 2015. The continued mild autumn is encouraging development of Phoma in oilseed rape amid reports of rapid appearance of the disease in the South. Mildew is also starting to appear in some crops of wheat and barley particularly on lighter soils. Aphid numbers remain low. The Met-Office is not forecasting any significant cold weather with only a low chance of colder conditions towards the end of November.

Phoma rapid development in south and appearing in all regions.:

Aphids low levels found in crops in most regions.:

Slugs active decreasing.:

Mildew in some crops of wheat and barley.:

Winter Wheat

image from FoL

Mildew developing on some wheat crops (photo from Farming Online).

South East: Wheat drilling all but finished now – just an odd field after late harvested maize left. Earliest sown wheats now at 3 leaves to 1 tiller, with bulk of fields emerging up to 1 or 2 leaves. Soils are moist again following rain on Thursday. Some significant crop damage from residual herbicides applied prior to heavy rain on 5th/6th October on heavier and lower lying areas of 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.

Mildew: low to moderate levels showing now in Solstice and Skyfall, particularly on lighter soils.

Aphids: none seen.

Slugs: 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-emergent applications, though most are showing signs of herbicide uptake so fingers crossed that good control will ensue.

Eastern Counties: Earliest drilled wheat at start of tillering but the majority at the two to three leaf stage. Second wheats all drilled and emerging. Late sown, going in after roots, also emerging.

Slugs: activity mainly after rape but seems to have slowed a little. Some seen in trashy second wheats.

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. Soil conditions are good with no problems in establishing crops - in fact seedbeds 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. Time will tell if delayed drilling has reduced numbers again this year.

West Midlands: Crops range from newly sown through to early tillering. More rain over the last week is ensuring that pre emergents are now really kicking in, no ground is as yet too wet to spray albeit a little bit sticky this week. Maize ground finally being cleared but not much drilled after this crop as yet.

Slugs: couple of plough drill crops have required pelleting but all were minimum till second wheat crops, zero grazing.

Gout Fly: easy to find eggs in early sown crops.

Weed control: Bromes starting to appear.

North East: The most advance crops now starting to tiller but the majority of crops are only at two leaf stage.

Opomyza (grass fly): a few fields badly hit.

Slugs: activity picked up on later drilled crops.

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 present in all regions (photo from Farming Online).

South East: September sown crops are now generally around 3-5 leaves, with August sown crops around 6-7 leaves. A run of milder days and nights has finally stimulated some more meaningful foliar growth and weather looks to be remaining unusually mild for next few weeks – just what the “Crop Doctor” ordered!

Flea Beetle: no new damage.

Phoma: has been a rapid increase in leaf spotting this week in all unsprayed crops, with levels ranging from 5% up to 30-40% - any outstanding applications need applying at next opportunity now, particularly with onset of milder conditions encouraging more rapid mycelial growth down leaf petioles.

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

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

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

Eastern Counties: Most crops now range from 3 - 10 true leaves. Recent rain has moistened things up again as it was drying out rapidly.

Flea Beetle: still feeding on smaller plants this week... no let up!

Phoma: threshold still not reached yet in crops but levels are increasing.

Aphids: very low numbers.

Slugs: low levels only.

Weed control: Charlock prone fields now being assessed for numbers present. Some Charlock is flowering! Sow thistles also being seen on heavy land.

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

Flea Beetle: not really a problem for 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.

West Midlands: Crops range from 3 true leaves to completely covering the ground. Bit concerned with soil temps now increasing.

Aphids: very low levels - no action to take.

Flea Beetle: very low damage.

Slugs: no crops required pelleting this week.

Phoma: trace levels in most crops but none at threshold.

Weed control: Hedge mustard and charlock need sorting at some point, some fields the charlock and runch is already flowering so a good frost should sort these fields out.

North East: All crops range from 3 leaf to 7 leaf. Crops are generally looking healthy.

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

Aphids: a few found in crops this week.

Slugs: activity decreasing.

Phoma: first signs of disease across the region.

Weed control: Hedge mustard becoming more obvious.

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Winter Barley

South East: Crops range from 1 leaf to 3-4 Leaves. No disease present yet.

Eastern Counties: Earliest drilled crops at GS 12/21. Growing well.

East Midlands: Crops at 1-3 leaves.

West Midlands: Crops emerging to GS 13. Earlier sown light land crops just starting to show signs of mildew and manganese deficiency.

North East: Crops range from drilled to GS 22. Some slug activity this week. No disease present 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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