Current conditions out in the field

David Cairns, Director of Agrochemicals at McCreath Simpson and Prentice, looks at the current conditions out in the field.

What a contrast we are experiencing compared to the last planting season – with ground conditions very much dictating what little activity we are seeing.

Soil temperatures are only 5-6 degrees centigrade, so no Nitrogen mineralising is occurring and some crops, in particular, winter barley and late drilled wheats, are needing Nitrogen as soon as possible – Nitrogen/Sulphur applications are happening where ground conditions allow.

Crop growth stages are generally behind average with Winter Barley being late tillering. Any remaining T0 applications should now consider addressing any Mildew and Manganese deficiency issues.

Winter Wheat Leaf 4 is emerging on earlier drilled wheats. Weather has mostly stopped yellow rust and mildew but Septoria is evident on lower leaves so this may need attention at the T0 stage, which will probably be in early April. Hopefully temperatures will have increased to allow any grass weed issues to be dealt with.

Oilseed rape is starting to extend and bud up despite no Nitrogen applications (and pigeons guzzling it). I would recommend getting Light Leaf spot fungicides on the crop and consider doing any plant growth regulators as well as Boron treatments at this time.

Spring Barley is still in the bag!!

Supply chain is groaning a bit at the moment as all stores are full with very little moving but, as has been highlighted all season, some key products are in fairly tight supply so careful planning and forecasting is essential.

Hopefully, when I report back in a few weeks, Spring will have sprung and crops will be moving on rapidly.

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