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Report: 08 April 2016 (for week beginning 04 April 2016)

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

: 08 April 2016. Crops appear in a state of suspended animation as the cold wet conditions continue. Met-office records show that for England the total day degrees for March were 173 degrees barely enough to encourage the development of a new leaf in wheat. Consequently despite the early growth stages recorded in February crops are now no more advanced than usual. Winter Oilseed rape crops are just starting to flower and need a warm dry spell to bring them to full flower. On the disease front Yellow Rust in winter wheat has seen a resurgence this week with reports of fresh sightings in all regions.


Winter Wheat
  • Yellow rust resurgence
  • Slowly moving toward GS31
  • BYDV starting to show
  • Final leaf 3 in forward wheat
  • Blackgrass getting away
Winter Oilseed Rape
  • First flowers in all regions
  • No reports of pollen beetle yet
  • Light Leaf Spot
Spring Barley
  • South - first drillings now emerging.
  • Eastern - first drillings now emerging. Some drilling still to do. Recent heavy rain is keeping fields moist inside. Compacted headlands have some puddling.
  • West Midlands - approximately 75% of spring barley now in, majority on light land, still none up as yet.
  • East Midlands - some now drilled and hopefully remainder to go in soon when soils dry up a bit.
  • North East - soils very wet, 45% drilled, into poor seedbeds. First sown crops now fully emerged. Ivy leaved speedwell very forward this year, spring germinating wild oats now at 2 leaf stage.

Winter Wheat

image from FoL

Yellow rust resurgence (photo from Farming Online).

South East: Crops range from GS29 to early GS30+ with September/early October sown fields of Skyfall, Cordiale, Reflection and Crusoe now with leaf 4 about 50-75% emerged. Growth remains very slow due to continuation of mostly cool days and nights with soil temperatures hovering around 6-7ºC. T0 Fungicides targeting Leaf 4 are now just getting underway – looking as though will only be 3 week spray intervals between T0/T1 and T2 this year. Most fields are traveling OK, though low points and some tramlines on lower lying fields are holding water – very few dry days in the last 10 days or so is hampering spraying progress.

Brown Rust: still evident on older leaves of September sown Crusoe and Claire in particular, though recent colder conditions have slowed any progression to new leaf.

Yellow Rust: some localised foci can be found again in Reflection, though in general does not seem to be too widespread at present.

Mildew: combination of low Nitrogen status of most soils now and cold conditions has prevented any resurgence to date.

Septoria: very obvious on older leaves of all September and early October sown wheats – cool conditions of last 3-4 weeks have certainly helped in reducing visible inoculum levels on newer growth.

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

Aphids: BYDV symptoms beginning to show up now as crops respond to Nitrogen in some late September/early October sown wheats.

Gout Fly: generally a lower incidence than last year, but many September crops have up to 20% “gouted” tillers.

Weed control: most blackgrass is now between GS23-30.

Eastern Counties: Most have leaf 4 emerged with leaf three just coming. Only the very earliest have leaf three close to being fully emerged. T0 fungicides planed this week but weather not helping so plans may change.

Brown Rust: trace levels only.

Yellow Rust: low levels on all susceptible varieties and still active on Claire.

Mildew: traces on all varieties.

Slugs: activity slowed.

Weed control: blackgrass is evident in all usual hotspots some of the worst areas are horrendous and should be destroyed. Very little over wintered weeds where robust pre-ems used. No sign yet of spring germinators.

East Midlands: Many crops now at or near GS30 with later crops at GS29+. The stop start weather has hindered tiller production after loss of tillers due to wet and cold in March. After a couple of warm days showery and windy weather has put a stop to spraying apart from Tuesday which saw some done. Fields generally OK but some wet areas and subsoils remain very wet.

Brown Rust: none seen.

Yellow Rust: easily found now on Reflection, KWS Lili, Cordiale and Kielder.

Mildew: remains low even in such varieties as Leeds.

Septoria: to date newer growth clear.

Eyespot: generally low but some stem based browning seen.

Aphids: none seen.

Weed control: sprays applied in March now showing effects with generally acceptable control on blackgrass but usual problem of finding healthy ones as well.

West Midlands: Low lying fields of Grafton have leaf 3 10% out, river ground second wheat JB Diego and Reflection also have leaf 3 emerging. Some very localised and heavy storms at the beginning of the week some had 20mm in 20-30 mins and others had nothing. Ground conditions far from ideal at the moment.

Brown Rust: still there at much reduced levels.

Yellow Rust: it went and now appears to be coming back as seeing fresh yellow spores on Reflection. Also found on Grafton, Gallant, and JB Diego.

Mildew: now virtually non-existent.

Septoria: with current cold dry conditions Septoria not yet seen on newest leaves.

Aphids: BYDV patches starting to appear.

Gout Fly: some very severe attacks in west of the region on crops that failed to get an insecticide in the autumn.

Weed control: very few spring germinating weeds so far.

North East: Crops range from GS14 to GS31. Rainfall of 9mm over the last week has meant that spray opportunities were limited.

Brown Rust: none seen.

Yellow Rust: becoming obvious on Alchemy and susceptible varieties showing new signs again.

Mildew: low levels in variety Leeds.

Septoria: Most varieties really showing signs again, on younger leaves now.

Aphids: still finding the odd aphid.

Gout Fly: severe damage in localised areas.

Weed control: remaining populations of blackgrass well established, early drillings worst with up to 10 tillers/sqm. Spring germinating Polygonum starting, charlock emerging as well.

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Winter Oilseed Rape

image from FoL

Crops at early flowering (photo from Farming Online).

South East: With a continuation of generally cooler days and occasional frosty nights, growth is slow and pigeons are still a real nuisance on around 25% of fields. Crops range from early green bud (Amalie) to early yellow bud (Campus).

Light Leaf Spot: field symptoms widespread in many crops, however lesions appear to have been effectively dried up by recent fungicide applications but conditions remain very favourable for renewed infection.

Phoma: no recent sightings.

Club Root: severe symptoms found in only two fields so far.

Pollen Beetle: none seen.

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: Many varied growth stages in fields. Some are now at approximately 40% flowers, some are still struggling to extend!

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: Varieties with poor resistance ratings will get a flowering spray that has activity for LLS.

Phoma: some new symptoms starting to show.

Aphids: none seen.

Pigeons: really hitting crops hard still. Some severe grazing where no attention to scaring!

Weed control: variable control from residual herbicides as conditions generally too warm and weeds too well established at application time.

East Midlands: Crops vary from start of flowering to pigeon damaged ones at green bud - many crops in need of a run of warm weather to get them flowering.

Light Leaf Spot: finally all sprays on, especially the at risk crops.

Pollen Beetle: yet to be seen.

Aphids: none seen.

Weed control: Charlock now showing the effects of the frost with some good kill.

West Midlands: A lot of crops, particularly lighter land and where Nitrogen was applied last week of February/first week March, are now starting to flower at low levels. Majority of crops extending well with quite a few flowering (semi dwarves not doing much at the moment).

Light Leaf Spot: most crops now treated. Crops in the west of the region are now receiving a second fungicide for LLS control.

Pollen Beetle: none seen.

Flea Beetle: none seen.

Weed control: Charlock/runch has taken a bit of a hit with the recent frosts.

North East: Green bud stage most crops to early yellow bud with first petals on early crops. Wide range of growth stages.

Light Leaf Spot: noticeable on all varieties, starting the second spring fungicide now being applied over next 10 days.

Flea Beetle: many plants with bad larvae damage in the south of the region, wilting and not growing. Larvae mainly in petioles not the stems, but large numbers in plants.

Pollen Beetle: none seen.

Phoma: trace levels.

Pigeons: have been more problematic than last year, stripping leaf from many crops.

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Winter Barley

South East: Crops still mostly in range GS29-30, looks as though many crops will be ready for T1 fungicides in around 2 weeks time. Brown rust bubbling up on Volume and Cassia. Other diseases are present but so far only at low levels.

Eastern Counties: GS31 common in good crops on good soil. Crop starting to green up. None are tall! Disease levels remain very low.

West Midlands: Six row crops are well and truly off with most at GS31 in the space of the last week, some light land two row varieties are also at GS31. It is far too wet for winter barley to do any good at the moment. BYDV - think we may be on the cusp of some horrible situations, with some crops showing up to 75% BYDV while some very early sown treated crops look to have maybe 5% max damage. Rhynchosporium and Net-blotch at low levels.

East Midlands: Crops approaching GS31, new growth is slowly appearing. Disease levels remain low.

North East: Crops mainly at GS30. No T0s applied due to weather and other commitments. Disease levels remain low with the exception of Mildew on Saffron.

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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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