David Cairns, Director of Agrochemicals at McCreath Simpson and Prentice, gives us an update on the current field conditions.
We are all relieved to see temperatures finally increase, and the last month has seen significant progress in the fields.
Recent warmer weather has encouraged crops to wake up and get moving – catching up some of the lost time. Spring drilling is now mostly complete into good seedbeds and crops are emerging very quickly.
Winter Barley awns are starting to appear; however, most crops are still a tiller or two short and cases of Rynchosporium are being reported on untreated areas. As final fungicide spray timing comes around I would recommend including Chlorothalonil for Ramularia protection.
Winter Wheat growth stages all over the place but mostly final leaf 3 is emerged – so T1 should be completed or planned. Septoria is now starting to express itself aggressively on leaf 4 so further development up crop should be anticipated, and Programmes should try to protect the yield building leaves. Mildew is also starting to develop on some susceptible unprotected varieties. Use this time wisely – tidy up any broad-leaved weeds and Wild oats as required as well as PGR programmes.
Oilseed Rape is flowering and with Sclerotinia warnings being low, flower sprays are being left as long as possible to give season-long cover and only mean one pass.
Grassland shouldn’t be forgotten and with growthy conditions it’s an ideal opportunity to remove yield sapping docks and thistles.
Hopefully growthy conditions will continue and crops will pick up nutrients to ensure maximum greenleaf area to build yield during the summer.
As mentioned last month, planning ahead for deliveries is highly recommend. With the 2018 season, being condensed, there will be high demand in critical growth stages, so being prepared ahead of time to ensure spray windows can be optimised, is advisable. This will ensure you maximise your yields, in what has, already, been a challenging year.