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Report: 22 January 2010 (for week beginning 18 January 2010)

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

Crops: emerge from the snow and ice virtually unscathed.

Pigeons: now pose big threat to oilseed rape crops.

Wheat: no longer any signs of yellow or brown rust.


Winter Oilseed Rape
  • Pigeons are a threat in the East and East Midlands.
Winter Wheat
  • Little change in growth over the past month.
  • Fieldwork postponed until land is travellable.
Winter Barley
  • Some crops looking pale and chlorotic.

Winter Oilseed Rape

image from FoL

Photo Farming Online

South East: There has been very little pigeon damage to date due to prolonged snow cover - crops look fine and have been nicely "squatted" down by sustained cold weather. It looks as though most of the charlock around may have been killed by frosts - time will tell if there is any regrowth.

South West: Rape now prostrate after the frost. A lot of older leaves are lost but the crop looks in good shape overall.

Eastern Counties: Rape crops are looking relatively well as snow has melted. Pigeon grazing is obvious on any areas where rape was 'sticking out' of the snow cover. Pigeons currently presenting a real threat as crops have opened up as older leaves die and flocks are beginning to amass and get into backward areas. Charlock seems to have suffered badly during cold weather but effects vary from field to field.

East Midlands: Crops look "bedraggled" with forward crops having leaves flattened and looking sorry but plenty of good leaf and no sign of any crops loss. Wet feet is the main problem at the moment but so far only isolated patches of crop purpling. Reports of high pigeon numbers in some cases into the thousand+ - some leaf stripping where patches of crops above snow, but so far damage has been limited. If the forecast for cold weather next week kicks in the pigeons could become a real problem. Charlock control not as good from the frosts as hoped due no doubt to the snow cover protecting the charlock.

West Midlands: Charlock in oilseed rape crops has been totally destroyed by the frosts. Runch on the other hand has survived and will need treating. At the moment the ground conditions are lousy even the light ground is too wet to do anything. Cannot see anything being done for at least a fortnight.

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Winter Wheat

image from FoL

Photo Farming Online.

South East: Most fields seem to have emerged from the winter freeze relatively unscathed, but are too wet to travel for most part, except on lightest land. No plans for any spraying until soil temperatures recover and days lengthen (probably not before mid-/end-February.

South West: Winter dormancy and the cold snap have resulted in little change in wheat over the last month. The cold weather does not appear to have harmed wheat with no severe foliar damage frost heave evident. Land wet and soggy behind melting snow and field work is out of the question. Mildew, brown and yellow rust have all disappeared after the frosts.

Eastern Counties: Fields have been under a cover of snow for two weeks from early January to the end of last week. Most fields are at field capacity apart from very light land. Where fields are very wet plants are yellowing slightly. Blackgrass which has not been treated is from 3 leaf stage to tillered. The plants look very uncomfortable with the cold temperatures and snow that has persisted on the ground for long periods - not actively growing.

East Midlands: No change in crop growth - crops look relatively well after the cold weather and no reports of any loss or snow mould. Soils are very wet and cold. No fieldwork envisaged until after a spell of drier weather.

West Midlands: Crops have emerged from the snow and ice with little obvious damage. Still have a few crops untreated with a herbicide in the autumn but it is too wet to travel. Manganese starting to show on some of the light ground and will need treating as soon as they can travel.

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Winter Barley

Nationally: This crop seems to have fared the worst from the recent cold spell and some crops now look pale and chlorotic. Difficult to tell at this stage if tillers have been lost.

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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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