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Report: 30 October 2009 (for week beginning 26 October 2009)

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

Winter Oilseed Rape: Sublime weather over the week has increased growth in rape crops and brought in powdery mildew.
Phoma still reluctant to get going.

Winter Wheat: Mildew becoming more obvious. First signs of brown rust in the south.


Winter Oilseed Rape
  • Most advanced crops at 10 leaf stage.
  • Slug damage very low.
  • Phoma still slow to appear.
  • Powdery mildew in the south.
Winter Wheat
  • Early sown crops at GS 21.
  • Brown rust in the south.
  • Emergence evens up.
  • Mildew increasing.
  • Slugs on the move.
  • Aphids in some crops.
Winter Barley
  • Emerging after recent rain.
Cross compliance
  • Make sure that 2m headlands are maintained where necessary.
Soil temperature
  • 12 degrees C. but set to fall.

Winter Oilseed Rape

image from FoL

Rapid growth of oilseed rape
over the last week.
Photo Farming Online.

South East: 3 - 7+ true leaves - bulk of crops are now around 5-6 true leaves.

Phoma: still none seen.

Turnip sawfly: moderate levels of larvae and some quite severe damage.

Weed control: significant flush of blackgrass in a few fields with history of blackgrass or where was poor control in previous cereal.

South West: Rapid growth continues with leaf numbers up to 12 on mid August sowings. Some petioles up to 30cms long. Early to mid September crops now up to 4 to 5 leaves.

Phoma: first signs seen this week.

Powdery mildew: this has taken off this week in the mild conditions.

Weed control: very high levels of blackgrass but good control from September applied herbicide, we await cooler conditions in November to apply treatment.

Eastern Counties: Rape continues to grow well and many fields have good ground cover although we are beginning to lose some outer leaves. Only the very heavy patches in a few fields are thin but in these areas populations are adequate.

Phoma: still very little phoma - higher infection anticipated end October to early November.

Powdery mildew: restricted to a few early drilled crops and not spreading.

Slugs: most rape is past the slug vulnerable stage.

Weed control: planning herbicide applications for when soil temperatures drop. Also hoping for good activity against brome which is very thick on some headlands. Large areas of charlock to deal with in places.

East Midlands: Crops continue to motor on with significant growth in the last week, with many crops at 6-8 leaves and even later ones now at 5 leaves. Only odd later crop at 2-3 leaves - in some crops second flush of germination with forward plants at 5-6 leaves and new plants at cotyledon to 1 leaf.

Phoma: none seen - with little or no rain in last 6 weeks.

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.

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

Weed control: continued flush of blackgrass.

West Midlands: Crops after sludge/poultry manure romping away (12 inches tall already!!) many crops too thick.

Phoma: first signs. Fungicides being applied this week where all other spraying has been completed, partly to apply graminicides before crop gets too big and/or because field conditions are so good in last week of October that unlikely to have to go again until the spring.

Light leaf spot: first signs.

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

Weed control: soil temps still over 12 deg C. and too dry, so will be some time before we can apply herbicide treatments.

North East: Most forward crops now have 9-12 leaves, and even the smallest crops are well established now and growing quickly.

Phoma: none seen, but leaf tests have shown phoma is present.

Slugs: there are still a lot of small plants susceptible to serious damage but none seen this week.

Weed control: there are some dense patches of Runch and Charlock showing in a few crops now.


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Winter Wheat

image from FoL

Emergence still slow on
some heavy ground
Photo Farming Online.

HGCA: survey indicates higher numbers of wheat bulb fly eggs this autumn

South East: Peter Cowlrick reports that growth stages range from emergence to GS 22/23, with bulk of crops now at around GS13-21. Earlier crops sown into dry seedbeds still very variable with dual growth stages in many fields, ranging from GS 12-22+.

Aphids: a few winged aphids about.

Slugs: with moist soils and warm nights slug activity has increased considerably in last week, however, where seedbeds are good, crops for most part appear to be establishing without significant grazing.

Weed control: significant flush of blackgrass appearing now even in fields where control has been good in last few years - warm, moist soils seem to be encouraging blackgrass to break dormancy and establish quickly with emerging wheat.

South West: Stephen Harrison reports that earlier drilled crops on light to medium land which established well are now racing away with high tiller numbers developing. Manganese deficiency is showing up on susceptible soils particularly sands and high OM situations. Some heavier areas are now looking patchy where seed beds were forced in dry conditions.

Brown rust: low levels seen in early drilled Grafton.

Mildew: developing alarmingly in many forward crops. Not helped by the fact that varieties suitable for early sowing have only moderate (Scout, Grafton) or poor (Claire) mildew resistance particularly at the young plant stage.

Aphids: a few winged aphids seen.

Slugs: are active (not just after rape) and are feeding on the emerging shoot below ground level. Continued mild weather is required for these areas to produce a satisfactory plant stand.

Weed control: blackgrass generally being held by pre ems although a few dense patches on difficult sites where seed beds were dry are giving cause for concern and will be targeted for treatment at the earliest opportunity. We anticipate the majority of contact materials will be applied in early to mid November.

Bromes: very high emergence of sterile bromes in non plough situations.

East Midlands: Martin Eudall reports that most crops now emerged but some on heavier cloddy soils still patchy with varying emergence across field. Most crop now at GS 11-12 with odd forward crop at GS 13-21. Some wheat struggling to get either around or through bone hard clods.

Mildew: some mildew found on Solstice but not at any worrying levels.

Aphids: numbers generally low probably due to fact that many crops only recently emerged.

Slugs: hollowing or grazing but on the whole damage low, even after rape.

Weed control: where blackgrass emerged herbicide will go on first or second week November - generally later than normal due to delayed emergence of blackgrass. Big problem is how much blackgrass will emerge when soils wet up.

West Midlands: Bryce Rham reports that most forward crops now at early tillering but emergence is still patchy on heavier ground and have quite a few fields with wheat varying from one leaf to early tillering in the same field.

Mildew: almost all varieties have low level of mildew.

Aphids: visible on quite a few crops.

Slugs: getting problems on wheat after oats, and some problems with min tilled wheat again where drilled early and slow to get away.

Eastern Counties: Brendan Butterworth reports that 90% of first wheats and 85% of 2nd wheats have been drilled. Majority at GS 1.4 - 2.1, but patchy emergence on early drilled. Wheat drilled in the last 2 weeks has come up quickly and is now at 1 leaf stage.

Mildew: Claire and Viscount have a lot of mildew.

Slugs: activity now seen after rape, some leaf striping.

Aphids: high levels seen in crops.

Weed control: blackgrass levels variable from nil to 2 tillers on forward drilled crops. 1 leaf blackgrass appearing in crops recently drilled and yet to be sprayed.

North East: Phillip Tuplin reports that early emerged areas of first wheats now tillering, and areas delayed by dry seedbeds at GS 11-13. Second wheats are coming through well now, and many at GS 11-12. Some heavy very dry seedbeds only wetted through 7 days ago, but crops emerging evenly now. Had 32mm rain over last 7 days, making a total of 59mm locally for October. This has been enough to soak even the most difficult seedbeds right through. Fields are still traveling well though so spraying and P and K applications being done as conditions permit.

Mildew: none seen.

Slugs: recent pelletting is giving good control, and rapid crop emergence is reducing the risk of early damage.

Weed control: anticipate will have to start herbicide applications towards mid-November where some dense patches of blackgrass just emerging.

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Winter Barley

South East: All drilled - ranges from emerging to 3 leaves.

South West: now at early tillering - early residual treatments seem to have been gentle on the crop with little or no scorch apparent.

Mildew: low levels beginning to appear on early sown crops.

Brown rust: low levels beginning to appear on early sown crops.

Aphids: high captures in trapping systems means vigilance is necessary. Crops not treated with insecticide seed dressing may require treatment before the herbicide timing.

Eastern Region: Majority of crops now at early tillering and have picked up since the rain.

East Midlands: Crops at 3 leaves and look very well.

West Midlands: Crops growing very rapidly, crops not emerged this time last week now at 2 true leaves.

North East: Crops are well established now. I don?t think I have ever seen them come through so quickly once we got the rain. Most at GS 11-13, but a few just tillering.

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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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