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Very close up shot of wheat crop ears in field

Report: 16 April 2010 (for week beginning 12 April 2010)

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

Winter oilseed rape: crops beginning to flower but watch backward crops for pollen beetle.

Pollen Beetle Control Thresholds

Winter oilseed rape:

- 15 pollen beetles/plant in well grown crops that can compensate for damage by producing more and larger seeds in lower pods.
- 5 pollen beetles/plant in backward crops, e.g. ones that have suffered frost or pigeon damage.

Winter wheat: leaf three just emerging in forward crops in South and East. Yellow rust found in eastern counties but elsewhere rusts of any colour are still absent.

Winter barley: crops mainly clean but brown rust found in the south east.

Winter beans: early appearance of chocolate spot.

Winter Oilseed Rape

image from FoL

Pollen beetle numbers
climbing.
Photo Farming Online.

South East: Green buds fully visible to early flowering - ES Alienor still most advanced variety. Could really do with rain to wash in final doses of nitrogen now. Any pigeon grazing now mostly ceased as crops extend.

Light leaf spot: only very low levels in evidence.

Sclerotinia: current forecast is for wet weather to arrive at end of next week ie. at around early flowering.

South West: First flowers now open on most crops. Growth has been rapid and rape is catching up to where we would normally expect at this time of the year. After 30 years working with this crop I am still amazed by its ability to assimilate nitrogen and produce a viable canopy from next to nothing.

Light leaf spot: new growth is very clean.

Pollen beetle: exploded in some areas with the onset of warm weather and a few crops have reached threshold. Recent cooler days have seen a reduction in activity and as crops flower risk diminishes.

Eastern Counties: Rape is galloping through its growth stages although it is very variable from site to site and colder temperatures this week have slowed progress down. Most advanced are about 10% in flower but changing daily - least advanced only 30cm tall!

Light leaf spot: still at low levels not seen on new leaves during stem extension.

Pollen beetle: more pollen beetle on warmer, sunny days mainly worse on headlands. Threshold levels only reached on one or two very thin backward crops.

East Midlands: Crops generally at late green bud to early yellow bud with very few crops starting to flower. Some later crops just at early green bud.

Light leaf spot: levels remain very low.

Pollen beetle: numbers have rocketed over weekend into early this week. Several crops well above threshold with as many as 20-30 beetle on some crops.

Weed control: very late flush of cleavers where they were clean 2 weeks ago, cleavers in these fields just emerging to 1 whorl.

West Midlands: Many crops just starting to flower although backward crops still only at green bud stage.

Light leaf spot: not seeing at any significant level.

Phoma: unsprayed crops still have low levels.

Pollen beetle: more pollen beetle on warmer, sunny days but cold nights have prevented build up. Backward crops need monitoring.

North East: Crops growing very quickly now with growth stages in the range 'buds proud' to 'yellow bud'.

Light leaf spot: despite higher temperatures still not seen any significant levels.

Weed control: patches of mayweed seen on a few headlands.

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Winter Wheat

image from FoL

First signs of yellow rust.
Photo Farming Online.

South East: A return to colder nights and cool drying winds has again slowed crop growth somewhat in the last week. Growth stages now range from GS29 to early stem extension (GS 30>31), with September sown crops now mostly at GS 30>31. Leaf 4 now up to 2/3 - fully emerged on September sown Solstice, Gallant and Einstein with tip of leaf 3 now just visible on more precocious crops. First BYDV symptoms seen last week on mid-September sown wheat.

Brown rust: none seen.

Yellow rust: none seen.

Mildew: no active pustules visible now and recent cold nights and dry cool days together with a lack of lush soft growth to date mean that mildew risk is currently low.

Septoria: very evident on all older leaves - only top 3 leaves appear free from symptoms.

Eyespot: beginning to find stem lesions in September and early October sown crops of Xi19, Cordiale and Solstice, but current conditions are not really very favourable

Weed control: finally all outstanding grass weed herbicide applications now been completed - some been been waiting to be sprayed since November! Rather pessimistic as to likely levels of control now though.

South West: Crops are now generally moving into stem extension. Growth over the last week has been rapid. Majority are at GS30 with September sowings touching GS31. Leaf 4 is now emerging. Majority of crops are in a very tight range of growth stage. Exceptions are very late sowings which are still stubbornly slow.

Brown rust: none seen.

Yellow rust: none seen.

Mildew: developing rapidly in early drilled Humber.

Septoria: still confined to lower leaves.

Eyespot: only really obvious in very early drillings.

Weed control: Grass weed herbicide applications now complete. Blackgrass is booting in missed areas.

Eastern Counties: Crops actively growing and majority at GS 2.6 with some approaching GS 30. Soils dry enough to perform most field operations. Daytime soil temperatures up to 12 deg.C, night time temperatures 6 deg. C.

Brown rust: odd pustules on susceptible varieties; Duxford, Zebedee, Cordiale.

Yellow rust: just in the last few days active yellow rust has been found in the more susceptible varieties including Oakley, Robigus, Viscount and Solstice.

Mildew: disease present on late drilled crops and on susceptible varieties, Solstice, Conqueror and Claire, but not active.

Septoria: apparent in most crops,in particular on early drilled and forward crops.

Weed control: wild oats now at GS. 1.2 - 2.4 where not controlled in the autumn. Some spring wild oats germinating.

East Midlands: Most crops GS 30-31 with final leaf 4 emerging. Check leaves emerging as crops at GS 30 have leaf 4 emerging.

Brown rust: none seen.

Yellow rust: none seen.

Mildew: gone in the frost.

Septoria: no change with plenty on older leaves - these are now sloughing off. Drying winds and cool nights appear to be keeping it in check.

Eyespot: levels of stem browning dropping with dry weather and windy conditions. Very little stem browning penetrating below outer older leaf sheath.

Weed control: Grass weed herbicide applied about 2-3 weeks ago working well with good control. However odd field with very large blackgrass may have poorer results - time will tell.

West Midlands: Crops range from GS21-31. Early sown Humber, Grafton, Battalion and Diego now at GS31. Ground has dried up rapidly this week as a consequence of high winds. We could do with some rain to wash the fertiliser in.

Brown rust: none seen.

Yellow rust: none seen.

Mildew: traces on Humber.

Septoria: low levels on bottom leaves.

Eyespot: noticeable in early sown crops of Gallant and Humber.

Weed control: Brome evident.

North East: most forward crops at GS31, Duxford appears to be an early variety. Later sown or to north of region crops are fully tillered to GS30. No rain at all for last 7 days. Fields are drying out well now and even the 'tenderest' ones are travelling now.

Brown rust: none seen.

Yellow rust: none seen.

Mildew: gone in the frost.

Septoria: levels appear much lower now than they were a month ago as new clean growth now pre-dominates, but older leaves are carrying a reservoir of infection.

Eyespot: no obvious infections seen.

Weed control: autumn applications of grass weed herbicide have generally worked but not totally satisfactory in all fields. High infestations present in many fields despite robust pre-emergence treatments.

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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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