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Report: 12 February 2016 (for week beginning 08 January 2016)

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

: 12 February 2016. As we begin to move out of winter, crops this year are in a very different state from this time last year. All crops are more forward and diseases levels are the highest we have reported for this time of year. Mildew is omnipresent in winter barley crops. However, travelling conditions are not good with saturated soils in most areas hampering any field applications that are queuing up.


Winter Wheat
  • Rusts are evident in crops in all regions
  • Aphids in South and West
  • Early crops at GS31 in East
  • Slugs still active
Winter Oilseed Rape
  • Light Leaf Spot is developing in all regions
  • Phoma re-appearing in some crops
  • Flea beetle larvae in East and North East
  • Buds showing above the crop in East

Winter Wheat

image from FoL

Yellow rust evident in crops (image from Farming Online).

South East: Crops range from GS21 to early GS29 – with leaf 5 emerging on earlier sown Skyfall.

Brown Rust: very evident in September sown Crusoe and Claire in particular.

Yellow Rust: some localised foci can be found in Reflection.

Mildew: three frosty nights in third week of January have knocked back the prevalence of mildew generally, but can still be found in earlier sown and thicker crops - may well increase again on susceptible varieties in March once growth commences following Nitrogen applications.

Septoria: very obvious on older leaves of all September and early October sown wheat.

Eyespot: stem based browning can be readily found in earliest sown wheats, along with second wheat and wheat after oats.

Aphids: with aphids being reported as on the wing in December, it is perhaps not surprising that we are finding a low incidence of adults in any unsprayed wheat crops drilled before 5th October.

Weed control: blackgrass, generally only low levels present in most fields following autumn residuals.

Eastern Counties: Crops range from GS23–31! Earliest drilled Gallant (drilled 10/9/15) is now at GS31 on main shoot, very lank and some has lodged.

Brown Rust: trace levels in all varieties but more so on Santiago, Crusoe and Kielder.

Yellow Rust: traces on all susceptible varieties that didn’t have a rust active seed dressing.

Slugs: still some grazing mainly after rape.

Weed control: blackgrass continues to emerge quickly.

East Midlands: Crops range between GS25-29 with later drillings after maize at GS23-25. A few forward crops at late GS29. Soils now very wet and waterlogged with many fields showing headland ponding.

Brown Rust: none seen.

Yellow Rust: low levels reported but nothing drastic yet.

Mildew: none seen.

Septoria: easily found on lower older leaves.

Aphids: none seen.

Weed control: blackgrass evident in all usual hotspots.

West Midlands: KWS Lili GS30 on the main stem, also crops of Revelation and one crop of Crusoe sown week beginning of 14th September. All Grafton sown week commencing 7th are NOT at GS30 as yet, all remaining crops are either well tillered or GS21-22 (wheat after maize and fodder beet). Earliest sown crops of Revelation have final leaf 4 emerging. Surprisingly most fields walking quite well (but nowhere near suitable for machinery as yet), some fields after spuds un-walkable.

Brown Rust: low levels on early sown Crusoe.

Yellow Rust: traces in all crops of Reflection and Revelation.

Mildew: low levels on all varieties.

Septoria: early sown crops full of Septoria on the bottom leaves.

Slugs: still active in crops after oilseed rape.

Weed control: some fields with high levels of cow parsley (particularly after W-OSR), groundsel, volunteer oilseed rape, poppy, wild oats and tame oats.

North East: Crops range from GS13 to GS24.

Yellow Rust: odd sighting in variety Reflection and Kielder.

Brown Rust: none seen.

Mildew: low levels in forward crops.

Septoria: more evident on early sown crops.

Slugs: still active.

Weed control: good results for blackgrass control being observed where pre-emergence and stacking done on time.

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Winter Oilseed Rape

image from FoL

Light Leaf Spot present in all regions (image from Farming Online).

South East: With ongoing relatively mild weather since mid-January, crops remain quite lush for the time of year with a higher proportion of leaf retention than would normally be expected – despite most crops not being sown until September, GAIs of 1-2 are quite common. Forward crops have buds showing.

Light Leaf Spot: field symptoms now becoming quite widespread in many crops, particularly those that were last sprayed with fungicide in early December.

Phoma: renewed leaf spotting can be found in fields that had high infection levels last Autumn, even where they had second fungicide applied by early December.

Club Root: severe symptoms found in only two fields so far, both have featured Brassica hosts 1 year in 3 or 4 for first 10-15 years and within patches that tend to be low pH.

Flea Beetle: can find moderate levels of larvae in petioles of crops particularly in the North of our our region (Hampshire and West) – up to 5 larvae/plant in worst cases and this is despite only low levels of adult activity or damage noted in September/October potentially indicating a late migration of adults?

Aphids: can find low levels in unsprayed crops of Amelie (TuYV resistant).

Weed control: residual herbicide applications made prior to January look to be providing high levels of control of blackgrass – later applications are only just showing signs of activity.

Eastern Counties: From 5 true leaves to early stem extension and buds above the canopy. Most crops have a mix of growth stages in field, not dependant on variety.

Flea Beetle: some crops that were attacked in the autumn have larvae in the leaf stems. Most crops are big enough to compensate.

Light Leaf Spot: first symptoms seen on V316.

Phoma: some new symptoms starting to show.

Aphids: none seen.

Weed control: sow thistles, mayweeds, cranesbill, shepherds purse. Charlock is flowering!

East Midlands: Big variation from normal crops to some with flower buds starting to show at canopy. Charger is the main culprit but some earlier drilled Incentive also forward, as is some Vision.

Light Leaf Spot: some found but levels low so far, probably reflecting the autumn fungicides, but higher levels where no autumn fungicide applied.

Phoma: Autumn sprayed crops remain clean, but again reports of high levels where no autumn fungicide applied.

Flea Beetle: none reported.

Aphids: none seen.

Weed control: some very big charlock at high populations as autumn control was prevented by weather. Also with the forward crops and flower buds showing concern over timing of herbicides – fortunately mayweed levels are low apart from headlands.

West Midlands: Crops are big or bigger, green buds visible down in the crop but none above the canopy yet.

Light Leaf Spot: present at low levels but does not appear to be variety specific, ie., not all Charger has it and can find it just coming into Incentive. Far too wet to do anything at the moment.

Phoma: trace levels single autumn spray seems to have done a pretty good job.

Aphids: very low levels.

Flea Beetle: none seen.

Weed control: too many fields with charlock/runch that has not been touched by the frosts, along with hedge mustard.

North East: All crops range from 6 to 9 leaves.

Flea Beetle: larvae present in most plants, in large numbers in south of the region.

Aphids: none seen.

Light Leaf Spot: low levels with Charger the worst.

Phoma: trace levels.

Weed control: some very large cleavers after warm winter, some December germinated small cleavers.

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Winter Barley

South East: Crops range from GS22 to GS29. Mildew at low levels can still be found in Cassia and Glacier where crops are thick, though activity much reduced by January frosts. Net-blotch and Rhynchosporium both present at low levels.

Eastern Counties: A lot of crops at GS30. Trace levels of mildew in all crops.

West Midlands: No crops yet at GS30 majority are GS23-27. Mildew present in all crops.

East Midlands: Most crops at around GS25 with some forward ones at GS25-29. Mildew on some older leaves showing over winter but newer leaves are pretty clear and imminent frosts should help.

North East: Crops range from GS23 to GS26. Mildew very evident in all crops with Saffron badly affected.

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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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