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Report: 16 November 2009 (for week beginning 09 November 2009)

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

Winter Oilseed Rape: Continued mild weather has increased growth in rape crops yet Phoma is still reluctant to get going.

Winter cereals: Some increased slug activity.


Winter Oilseed Rape
  • Most advanced crops at 13 leaf stage.
  • Slug damage very low.
  • Phoma still slow to appear.
Winter Wheat
  • Early sown crops at GS 21.
  • Brown rust in the south.
  • Emergence evens up.
  • Mildew slows down.
  • Slugs on the move.
  • Aphids in some crops.
Winter Barley
  • Crops have established well.
Cross compliance
  • Make sure that 2m headlands are maintained where necessary.
Soil temperature
  • 8 degrees C and falling.

Winter Oilseed Rape

image from FoL

Charlock beginning to appear.
Photo Farming Online.

South East: Crops generally looking vigorous and still growing rapidly with ongoing warm weather and are trapping any mineralised nitrogen very effectively. Crops have produced 3 leaves in last 2 weeks.

Phoma: still none seen to date despite recent rains.

Weed control: significant flush of blackgrass. Control to date generally looks very good (98%).

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: no crops yet inspected which require phoma treatment.

Powdery mildew: no further development.

Weed control: very high levels of blackgrass but good control gained from September applied treatment, we await cooler conditions to apply further treatments.

Eastern Counties: Growth has slowed down with recent cooler weather, but all rape fields well established.

Phoma: present in most fields but still at low levels.

Powdery mildew: levels and incidence has not increased.

Slugs: most rape is past the slug vulnerable stage.

Weed control: soil temperatures now dropping to levels where we will begin to apply residual herbicide control. Large areas of charlock to deal with in places.

East Midlands: Forward crops now at 8-9 leaves and even later crops now at 6-7 leaves. Odd very late drilled crops at 3-4 leaves.

Phoma: still noticeable by its almost total absence - crops look almost too good!

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.

Weed control: blackgrass, with cooler soils and now rain herbicide control to go on when conditions allow, but in a few crops may have to wait for leaf dieback where thick crops to be able to hit soil.

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

Phoma: first signs. But no crops at threshold levels.

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: patches of charlock now showing but too early to control yet.

North East: Most forward crops now have 9-12 leaves, and even 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 evens up after
the rains.
Photo Farming Online.

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

South East: Peter Cowlrick reports that drilling completed apart from few fields. Growth stages range from emergence to GS 22/23, with bulk of crops now at around GS 21-22. Earlier crops sown into dry seedbeds still variable with dual growth stages in many fields, ranging from GS 13-22+. Very mild days and nights leading to rapid emergence and growth - soils are now wet after 30mm+ rain in last 10 days. Some fields now too wet to spray for time being.

Slugs: activity has increased again in the last week on stonier/heavier areas of fields, with shredding damage being largely caused by juvenile slugs.

Weed control: Blackgrass beginning to show signs of control, but will need follow up treatments in November.

South West: Stephen Harrison reports that sustained wetting of dry seed beds has resulted in fuller stands on heavy soils with cloddy seed beds however slug activity has increased. Elsewhere mid September drillings on kinder soils are well tillered.

Brown rust: still present but not increased much over last week.

Mildew: slightly cooler weather has slowed progression.

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 at earliest opportunity. We anticipate the majority of contact materials will be applied in early to mid November.

Sterile bromes: very high emergence in non plough situations.

East Midlands: Martin Eudall reports that slower development with cooler temperatures now. Forward crops at GS 21-22 and later crops at GS 12, cloddy areas still have some at GS 10-11.

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: just the odd patch of hollowing in cloddy areas but very little damage seen to crops and many crops now ahead of any damage.

Weed control: blackgrass now starting to show and where 1-2 leaves will get treatment when weather lets up but vast majority of crops not at a high risk of blackgrass getting away. Quite a few crops with little or no blackgrass yet and will be left until early spring, especially where cloddy areas may lead to more emergence later on. In some crops a very high level of broad leaf weeds germinating, much more than I would expect in most years - down to dry weather, warm soils and then moisture? Very heavy flushes of spring rape volunteers with almost full ground cover in some patches - these will get knocked out first and then grass weed herbicide when we can see the soil, probably early spring.

West Midlands: Bryce Rham reports that most forward crops now at early tillering. Emergence has evened up on heavier ground after the recent rains.

Mildew: almost all varieties have low level of mildew.

Aphids: no new arrivals.

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

Weed control: most crops sprayed but some later ones still to treat. Recent rains have brought field work to a halt.

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: not surprising with it being cool and moist, slugs are appearing in greater numbers. On the whole we have used considerably less metaldehyde compared with recent years. If you have to treat where leaf shredding is obvious on younger leaves then:
Keep off areas where no damage is visible
Remember how far the spread pattern goes behind the quad-bike/ applicator.
Even an odd pellet that ends up in a ditch somehow is potentially a big problem.

Aphids: high levels seen in crops.

Weed control: the warm dry conditions of late October and recent field observations are indicating pre and early post-em sprays are not as effective compared with this time last year. It does seem however that this week, residual mixes have kicked into action, with the early November rains somewhat crucial in this regard.

North East: Phillip Tuplin reports that early emerged first wheats at GS21-22. Virtually all crops emerged well and evenly now. There are just a few on some very heavy soils that were drilled into cloddy seedbeds that still have more plants to emerge. Locally there has been another 15mm rainfall over the last 14 days. This is enough to make most fields a bit soft now, but they are still travelling well for spraying.

Mildew: none seen.

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

Weed control: pre-emergence applications of herbicides have given extremely variable results. Most fields are reasonably clean with a low level of blackgrass at 1-2 leaves, but some have very dense patches in them now with blackgrass at 3 leaves to one tiller. Treatment planned for next 7 days where significant levels of blackgrass seen.

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Winter Barley

South East: Crops now at early tillering.

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

Mildew: 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 early tillering and look very well.

West Midlands: Crops growing very rapidly considering the time of year.

North East: All crops are well established now, with most forward at GS 21-22.

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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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