An update from Agrochemical/Grass Seed Director David Cairns
As harvest now comes to an end, thoughts now turn to crops for next season. Growers around the country will be reflecting on lessons from this season and how they can apply these to next season.
Generally, crops have performed much better than anyone could have expected after the Spring weather pattern.
So, let’s take a look at some things to consider for next season…
This summer has been a great help with some natural subsoiling. Whatever crop you choose to sow this year good seedbeds can be achieved with the right cultivations getting crops off to a fantastic start.
Oilseed Rape is establishing well without too much slug pressure. We are noticing a slight increase in Flea Beetle damage however, with crops needing close monitoring. We advise only applying insecticides if necessary, although we anticipate crops will be growing vigorously enough to cope with pressure. Weed control strategies with oilseed rape are applied pre-emergence or predominantly early post emergence as once weeds start to grow it becomes more difficult.
Volunteer cereals again need removing rapidly to stop them becoming competitive. Future weed control strategies, particularly with regards grass weeds need to be thought about as oilseed rape is an ideal cleaning crop to use chemicals with different modes of action.
Weed control in cereals is a lot more prescriptive and you really need to know your target weed spectrum particularly referencing grass weeds and then choosing correct products with the right rates and timings to ensure best performance.
Slug pressure right now is low but with shorter days upon us and increasing moisture, this needs monitoring carefully. As an industry we are trying to reduce the use of Metaldehyde, so we recommend considering Ferric Phosphate pellets (you can speak to our team about these!).
Getting your crop off to the best start is critical and the team of BASIS/FACTS advisors at McCreath Simpson & Prentice are always on hand. Our team are able to help you with advice on rotations, variety and seed dressing choice and sowing rates, as well as weed control strategies to ensure crops get the best establishment possible.