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Report: 16 October 2009 (for week beginning 12 October 2009)

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

Cereals: patchy emergence but picking up after recent rain.


Winter Oilseed Rape
  • Most advanced crops at 10 leaf stage.
  • Crops growing away from leaf miner damage.
  • Slug damage very low.
  • Phoma virtually absent.
  • Growth regulator decision time for forward crops.
Winter Wheat
  • Early sown crops at GS 21.
  • Slug damage low.
  • Aphids in some crops.
Winter Barley
  • Emerging after recent rain.
Cross compliance
  • Make sure that 2m headlands are maintained where necessary.
Soil temperature
  • 11 degrees C and falling.

Winter Oilseed Rape

image from FoL

Crops picking up after
recent rain
Photo Farming Online.

South East: 3 true leaves - 6+ true leaves - bulk of crops are now around 4-6 true leaves. Most advanced and thickest crops have had fungicide applied this week for PGR effects.

Phoma: still none seen.

Turnip sawfly: moderate levels of larvae now being found in beta-cyfluthrin/clothianidin seed treated crops that have not had any pyrethroid applied, though damage is not severe yet.

Weed control: significant flush of blackgrass in a few fields with history of blackgrass or where there was poor control in previous cereal, with emergence coinciding with crop emergence - in general though, emergence to date has been minimal in many fields.

South West: some of the biggest mid autumn rape for several years. Crops with 9 leaves are not uncommon. It is satisfying not to have to think about ripping up rape this year. Severe manganese deficiency observed and confirmed by analysis on deficient soil types - appears to be worsened by rapid autumn growth.

Phoma: absolutely none seen.

Leaf miner: widespread but not of concern.

Turnip sawfly: no larvae seen as yet.

Weed control: very high levels of blackgrass on known infected sites confounding reports of high dormancy. I am convinced that dormancy is a localised phenomenon with huge national variability.

Eastern Counties: Now had between 13 mm and 30 mm of rain and on most sites rape has grown rapidly, largest plants have seven leaves, are a very good colour and the most forward and best established fields have complete canopy cover. Heavy land which has had lower rainfall is still struggling to fully establish in patches.

Phoma: none seen.

Leaf miner: damage has been confined to older leaves and we are now seeing few fresh mines. Rape has now grown away rapidly (it is the early most advanced rape which had been most affected) and the damage is insignificant. We have not treated for this pest.

Weed control: generally little broad leaved weed emergence but all fields have been treated. We will have to treat charlock. A lot of weed beet have emerged in some fields.

East Midlands: Nearly all crops now have full field cover with only the odd late drilled crop still a bit patchy - some seed still just germinating. Forward crops at 6+ leaves, most crops at 4-5 leaves and only late crops at cotyledon to 2 leaves.

Phoma: crops all clear, even Catana seen 14 October.

Slugs: just odd leaf showing damage and with many crops at 5 leaves risk is almost over apart from later crops or late emerging cloddy areas.

Leaf miner: some damage but at low levels.

Weed control: where blackgrass is now moving getting herbicide to take them out before roots get too deep.

Pigeons: some large flocks about - on stubbles at moment but when these disappear then rape will be at risk - with some on rape already.

West Midlands: All crops emerged with earliest crops now at 8 true leaf but lots of crops still quite small. Will need to make the decision as to whether to apply fungicide to the most forward crops for PGR effect.

Phoma: first signs.

Slugs: early sown crops now beyond having any problems with slugs, slug damage on some fields where no pellets applied.

Leaf miner: evident in some crops and worryingly on late sown smaller plants.

North East: Most crops are very even and have 4-5 leaves, but there are a few at 7-9 leaves, and patches in some fields where plants are still emerging. All worries about drought stressed plants are forgotten now, as conditions are now ideal for some very rapid growth.

Phoma: none seen. The plan is to protect plants when disease is seen and plants have 5 leaves. During the dry spell there has been no risk, but crops need to be monitored now for infection.

Leaf miner: crops are growing quickly now and it appears that the leaf miners have had their short spell of causing damage and as expected there will be no long term effects.

Weed control: there are some areas with a lot of grassweed appearing now.

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Winter Wheat

image from FoL

Emergence still slow in
many crops
Photo Farming Online.

South East: Peter Cowlrick reports that emergence of crops sown into dry seedbeds ahead of last week's rain is still very variable with dual growth stages in many fields, ranging from emerging to GS 13-21 - at least all seeds sat in previously dry soil appear to be emerging ok.

Slugs: where seedbeds are fine and firm then hoping to avoid any pellet use at all this year.

Weed control: significant flush of meadow grass beginning to show now in many fields at 1-2 leaves.

South West: Stephen Harrison reports that early/mid September drilled Grafton and Claire at 3 leaves to early tillering. Rain over last weekend has encouraged chitting and emergence in later sowings. Where drilling has recently taken place after grass or maize some very good seedbeds have been created. Land is travelling well.

Aphids: a few winged aphids seen.

Slugs: some activity in cloddy areas.

Weed control: blackgrass now emerging and at around 1 leaf stage.

East Midlands: Martin Eudall reports very few crops fully emerged and those only at 1-2 leaves. Many crops with variable emergence with some parts of the field at GS 21 and other parts just putting out initial roots (usually cloddier areas which have only just wetted up). Lot of crops at seed just chitting. Some moisture under clods but soils damp rather than wet - tilth struggles to stick together. In some soils dry soil below damp layer. Just 15 mm rain has hardly wetted the soil.

Slugs: some seed hollowing found in a couple of cloddy patches but nothing extensive. Slime trails on seedbeds after rape where wheat has not emerged indicate there could be some leaf damage as crop emerges.

Weed control: only very low levels of blackgrass with none showing on some fields but moisture may get it going. The later it comes through the more it could mean spring sprays if poor weather in November. Many pre emergence herbicides on but a few delaying until they see the crop.

West Midlands: Bryce Rham reports that 90% of wheat in the ground, some second wheat and wheat after potatoes, maize and beans still to drill. 21mm rain from last Tuesday has disappeared from topsoil. But most seed has now chitted and should emerge over the next 7 days.

Aphids: visible on quite a few crops.

Slugs: some damage to crops on heavier parts of fields where emergence is slow and evidence of dead slugs where pellets applied. Some issues of hollowing and grazing on min till second wheats where not rolled.

Weed control: volunteer oilseed rape emerged through pre-emregence herbicides and some now at 6 true leaves.

Eastern Counties: Brendan Butterworth reports that 85% of first wheats and 65% second wheats have been drilled. Majority at GS 1.3-1.4, but patchy emergence. The recent rains have given sufficient moisture to soften the soil and enable drilling to proceed. The majority of the drilling will be completed by the end of this week says Jamie Mackay.

Mildew: a few pustules on Claire at growth stage 1.3.

Slugs: low activity due to dry conditions especially where land has been ploughed.

Gout fly: eggs seen on wheat plants with 3 leaves.

Weed control: majority of blackgrass treatments are being applied peri-emergence due to lack of drilling depth and soil cover.

North East: Phillip Tuplin reports that since the rain most first wheat crops have emerged except on heavier areas which were very dry and they needed the second rain incident before they were wetted through to seed depth. Most advanced areas are at GS 12-13. Very few second wheats emerging yet. Had a much needed 24 mm rainfall locally over last 7 days, and some parts of the region had significantly more. This has been enough to get everyone drilling the fields that were too dry to work sensibly, and the end result is excellent. The amount of rain, unusually, has been ideal and with good dry days. Conditions have allowed spray operations to be kept up to date as well.

Slugs: easily found where rape stubbles have been ploughed and sown, but very little crop damage been seen so far. In what were very dry seedbeds it looks like the crops is going to emerge before the slugs come up to ground level.

Weed control: it is too early to assess the effectiveness of the pre-emergence herbicides, but so far fields are quite clean with at least one exception, where there are dense patches already appearing.

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Winter Barley

South East: All drilled - earliest sown crops now at 2 leaves.

South West: Winter barley has developed very quickly and first residuals are now being applied. September drilled crops now tillering.

Eastern Region: Crops range from dry seed - GS 1.3. 90% drilled

East Midlands: First crops just at 1 leaf and look well with good emergence. Later crops just starting to emerge.

West Midlands: Crops range from GS 21 to emerging. 100% drilled.

North East: Emergence is quite patchy with most forward areas at GS 11-12.

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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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