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Report: 15 April 2016 (for week beginning 11 April 2016)

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

: 15 April 2016. The continuing cool, wet conditions are beginning to take their toll. Crops which should have shot through their growth stages have stalled and are now becoming magnets for pests and disease. Winter oilseed rape crops are taking weeks to flower and those stuck at the yellow bud stage are now falling prey to pollen beetles. Similarly yellow rust is taking full advantage of these conditions to blossom and bloom across a whole host of wheat varieties from North to South. This is turning into the year for yellow rust as forecasts indicate a continuation of cool and wet conditions which will favour its development.


Winter Wheat
  • yellow rust becoming more prominent
  • poor weather delays T0 application
  • BYDV starting to show
  • final leaf 3 in forward wheat
  • T1 applications start next week
  • blackgrass getting away
Winter Oilseed Rape
  • first flowers in all regions
  • pollen beetle numbers building in backward crops
  • light Leaf Spot
Spring Barley
  • South - first drillings now emerging.
  • Eastern - first drillings now emerging. Most now drilled. Recent heavy rain is keeping fields moist inside. Compacted headlands have some puddling.
  • East Midlands - all drilled and some just starting to show.
  • West Midlands - first drillings now emerging.
  • 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 GS31 – a number of crops now have leaf 3 just emerging, with September sown Trinity and Reflection having leaf 3 50%+emerged, whereas Skyfall and Crusoe remain at leaf 4 about 50-75% emerged. Later sown crops look likely to drop a leaf layer as leaf 3 is already starting to emerge on main shoots. Warmer weather this week has accelerated growth a little, but looks as though colder conditions are set to return once again. Most fields are traveling OK as we have fortunately missed most showers this week.

Brown Rust: still very 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, even in Cordiale (a first in nearly 10 years of being grown) – current cool and damp conditions are ideal for disease development.

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 not over sprayed.

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

Eastern Counties: Most have leaf 4 emerged with final leaf 3 just coming through. Only the very earliest have leaf 3 close to being fully emerged. Not much change. Fields are slowly draining, warming and Nitrogen is being taken up.

Brown Rust: trace levels only. T0 imminent.

Yellow Rust: still active on Claire, and also where untreated on Reflection.

Mildew: traces on all varieties.

Septoria: low levels on all varieties but not developing that quickly. Warmer wetter weather has increased the threat.

Slugs: activity slowed.

Weed control: very little over wintered weeds where robust pre-ems used. Little sign yet of spring germination except some charlock.

East Midlands: Many crops at late GS30 early GS31. A very stop start week with frequent showers and few completely dry days. Wet patches in lower lying part of fields remain, however most crops look well and next Nitrogen will be going on in about a week or so. Manganese deficiency showing in a few crops.

Brown Rust: none seen.

Yellow Rust: still very apparent and seen on variety Leeds yesterday but tending to be on older leaves rather than new growth easily also found on Reflection, KWS Lili, Cordiale and KWS Kielder.

Mildew: remains low even in such varieties as Leeds.

Septoria: plenty on lower older leaves but new growth so far clean but time is now pressing and a lot of crops yet to get the T0 due to the weather.

Eyespot: generally low but some stem based browning seen.

Aphids: none seen.

Weed control: time now will tell on blackgrass control. Some plants disfigured rather than dying so may find stunted plants in crops but hopefully reduced seed heads.

West Midlands: Crops now range from GS30 to GS32 with final leaf 2 just starting to emerge. Plenty of crops of Grafton, Reflection and KWS Lili that will be getting T1 applications as of Monday 18th. An inch of rain on Monday (most had at least 15mm) which along with the 10-15mm over the weekend has made things very challenging.

Brown Rust: still there at much reduced levels.

Yellow Rust: still very evident on Reflection. Also found on Grafton, Gallant, and JB Diego.

Mildew: now virtually non existent.

Septoria: waiting for this to explode after recent heavy rains.

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 GS21 to GS31. It has been a wet week and spray opportunities have been few and far between.

Brown Rust: none seen.

Yellow Rust: susceptible varieties showing new signs again.

Mildew: low levels in variety Leeds.

Septoria: slight increase with wet weather.

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

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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 cool days and occasional frosty nights, growth remains relatively slow and pigeons are still a real nuisance on around 10% of fields. Crops range from green bud (Amalie) to 1st flowers visible (Campus and Ovation).

Light Leaf Spot: field symptoms widespread in many crops, however lesions appear to have been effectively dried up by recent fungicide applications - conditions remain very favourable for renewed infection meaning that early flowering sprays will need to have good light leaf spot activity.

Phoma: no recent sightings.

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

Pollen Beetle: beginning to be found now quite readily in open flowers and some on green buds, but not at threshold levels yet. With weather looking to remain cool, backward and pigeon grazed crops could remain vulnerable to attack for another two weeks.

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 approx 80% flowers, some are still only just showing signs of extension. Mainly linked to wet, pest damage and weed burden.

Light Leaf Spot: variable levels across different fields and varieties. Not bad but usually able to find a background level.

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

Phoma: some new symptoms starting to show.

Aphids: none seen.

Pigeons: really hitting crops hard still. Some severe grazing.

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

East Midlands: Most crops now starting to flower with later crops at yellow bud where pigeon damage has slowed them down. Final Nitrogen being held back to manipulate canopy but will be going on soon before crops get too advanced to allow a good spread of fertiliser.

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

Pollen Beetle: numbers generally low but with the odd field showing higher numbers but in flowering crops so no concern apart from the much later pigeon damaged crops.

Aphids: none seen.

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

West Midlands: Most crops are flowering, anything from 5% up to 30% flowers. Not worrying about Sclerotinia at the moment as cold nights still and conditions not good for ascopsore development.

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, many crops yellow bud, to early flowering. Some crops are looking short where soils have been wet.

Light Leaf Spot: noticeable on all varieties.

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: low levels.

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 GS30-31 and it looks as though many crops will be ready for T1 fungicides next week. Nitrogen+Sulphur applications completed and final Nitrogen applications due in next two weeks. 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! Not much change in the week. Very low disease levels.

East Midlands: Many crops at GS30/31 and look well. Disease levels remain low so far with clean new growth.

West Midlands: Winter barley crops are taking a bit of a back seat at the moment in terms of T1 fungicides whilst we catch up with wheat. However, about 60% of crops have had a T1 and 30% had a T0 with 10% with nothing at all as yet. BYDV patches are starting to stand out more and more.

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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