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Very close up shot of wheat crop ears in field

Report: 11 December 2009 (for week beginning 07 December 2009)

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

11 December: Wind and rain have brought field work to a halt in most parts of the country, with many reports of no spraying possible for over two weeks. Mild conditions have allowed the rusts to appear which doesn't bode well for next spring. Phoma still below threshold in most areas. Soil temperatures are set to fall quickly over the week.

Highlights

Winter Oilseed Rape
  • Most advanced crops at 12 leaf stage.
  • Slug damage very low.
  • Phoma control delayed.
Winter Wheat
  • Early sown crops at GS 24.
  • Emergence evens up.
  • Brown rust in South.
  • Mildew slows down.
  • Blackgrass control delayed.
Winter Barley
  • Crops established well.
  • Net blotch in the East.
Cross compliance
  • Make sure that 2m headlands are maintained where necessary.
Soil temperature
  • 4 degrees C and falling.

Winter Oilseed Rape

image from FoL

Phoma levels still remain low
Photo Farming Online

South East: The most advanced crops at 9+ true leaves - bulk of crops are now around 5-6+ true leaves.

Phoma: lesions at low levels and most fields still have few symptoms - so will be a one Phoma spray autumn at most, particularly on more advanced crops.

Weed control: any fields with significant levels of difficult blackgrass surviving earlier herbicide applications may have further herbicide applied when soil temperatures fall to around 7-8 degrees C and soils dry out enough for spraying.

South West: Growth is slowing down as we progress into winter. Older leaves now being shed as soil nitrogen supply diminishes.

Phoma: most crops now being inspected are at or around 5 to 10% infection levels.

Powdery mildew: no further development.

Weed control: very high levels of blackgrass but good control now waiting cooler conditions.

Eastern Counties: Canopies continuing to open as older leaves die. Pigeons encroaching on a few weak areas or down tramlines but generally the crops look in a very promising position to go through the winter with good ground cover.

Phoma: slowly increased but is barely present at threshold levels.

Flea beetle: larvae can be found in the petioles of outer leaves of some plants.

Weed control: few spray days until the end of this week when it is expected that some soil acting herbicide applications will be made.

East Midlands: Some crops showing stress from wet feet but on the whole all look well if a bit damp.

Pigeons: starting to flock on some crops.

Phoma: still some crops not yet treated and some phoma can be found in most crops. Crops not treated this side of Christmas probably not worth doing and will get good spring spray.

Weed control: blackgrass - soil acting herbicides to go on when soils lose a bit of water to prevent any run off. Cold settled weather will allow application.

West Midlands: Growth has slowed but many crops too thick. Crops still keeping good colour despite the wet.

Phoma: still at low levels only and crops at threshold levels.

Light leaf spot: first signs.

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

North East: Crops range from 6 -12 leaves, but some older leaves are senescing now. Some of this is natural but some is due to the wet conditions.

Phoma: treated crops staying clean, but untreated are showing higher levels of Phoma now, although still barely at threshold. Still a few to be sprayed as conditions permit.

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

September sown wheat at
mid tillering
Photo Farming Online

South East: The bulk of crops now at around GS 21-22+. Ongoing wet and windy weather seriously hampering spraying - we have now not had a spraying day for over 4 weeks.

Brown rust: low levels now being found in earlier sown Claire.

Mildew: moderately high levels on older leaves of Claire/Cordiale in particular.

Weed control: significant flush of blackgrass evident now and growing away from pre-/peri-emergence herbicides, 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 emerged wheat.

South West: Growth has slowed as days shorten. Growth stages vary from GS 12 to 26 with mid September drillings strongly tillered. Earlier mildew and slight brown rust has faded. Land extremely wet with water lying in the tramlines. Little prospect of any spraying unless we have a sustained dry spell although as this is likely to bring lower temperatures conditions for contact materials may not be ideal.

Brown rust: no increase.

Yellow rust: low levels seen in Oakley volunteers on over wintered stubbles.

Mildew: levels have dropped except in the densest crops in sheltered areas.

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.

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

East Midlands: Little change in growth with forward crops at GS 22-23 and later crops at GS 13. Soils wet to very wet depending on type and some ponding on headlands.

Mildew: some mildew found on Solstice.

Weed control: blackgrass romping away now with many fields with blackgrass at 2-3 leaves where nothing two weeks ago. Just odd fields treated due to the weather problems - chances of spray days now few and if any chances heavier blackgrass fields will be targeted. But with cold weather forecast any spray opportunities seem slim.

West Midlands: Crops range from emerging through to GS 26. Some early drilled fields are anywhere from 2-3 leaves up to GS 26 in the same field. Ground conditions now at a point where we need several dry days before spraying can continue.

Mildew: almost all varieties have low level of mildew.

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

Eastern Counties: Most wheat at early tillering stage. Fields after sugar beet and Potatoes very wet with some water laying on the soil surface. Majority of fields at or near to field capacity.

Brown rust: odd pustules seen on Claire.

Mildew: Claire and Viscount have a lot of mildew.

Slugs: activity dropping off with cooler temperatures. Some late drilled wheat seed has been hollowed out.

Weed control: growth of black-grass slowing due to a decrease in temperature.

North East: Little change in crops over last 14 days. Most forward are at GS 23-25 and later sown at GS 21-22. Recorded 63mm rainfall locally in last 14 days. Most land in the area is boulder clay which retains water very well, and so few fields are passable now with a sprayer. There is significant standing water in some fields, and some have areas with crop yellowing now.

Mildew: none seen

Weed control: a few applications have been made and where applied 2-3 weeks ago it is obviously working well. The intention is to continue with planned applications only if get any very good spraying days. If soil temperatures fall significantly then all plans to apply soon will be abandoned.

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Winter Barley

South East: Crops now at early tillering. Blackgrass now coming through pre-emergence treatments.

South West: Crops now thick and lush after sustained damp, relatively mild growing conditions.

Eastern Region: Majority of crops now at early tillering and have picked up since the rain. Min-tilled crops into barley stubbles have high levels of net blotch.

East Midlands: Crops at early tillering and look very well.

West Midlands: Crops growing very rapidly considering the time of year. Some yellowing where wet feet or compaction.

North East: Severe yellowing in compacted ares of fields where becoming water-logged. Varying levels of mildew in most crops now. Cassia and Saffron currently with highest but still not severe levels.

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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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