Winter crops are looking very good at this stage and not showing anything that is too concerning. Crops have had a much easier time this year and for this reason crops are around 7-10 days ahead of this time last year, with nearly all T1’s on winter barley and T0 +PGR on wheats completed. Attention should now turn to working through an appropriate fertiliser and spray programme.
As we approach late April, T1 applications should be getting underway on winter wheat. T1 includes SDHI plus a Triazole plus Bravo. There are some new SDHI products available on the market this year from Bayer and Syngenta which will add to the armoury in controlling diseases in winter wheat. General advice is to use robust rates of all, but seek professional advice in advance. For anyone growing Garrus winter wheat we have seen some yellow rust appearing which is not that common in this part of the country, and will need to be taken care of within the spray programme. I have seen a lot of mildew present in crops of wheat that did receive a mildewcide where needed with the PGR in the last week, but one should still keep an eye when applying the T1. Getting the timing correct is still the most crucial element to get right when applying the T1 and I would go to say nearly every bit as important as what products are chosen. Aim to spray T1 when 3rdleaf is fully emerged. Most winter wheat crops should have received their main split of Nitrogen at this point.
In cases where T1 sprays were applied in the last week of March/first week of April, T2’s should be getting underway very soon (3 weeks later). This should include using a robust rate of recommended fungicide chemistry and include a 2nd PGR like Moddus or Terpal where lodging risk is high. Again this will be dependent on the crop and we are happy to assess this. Important diseases to watch for are Ryncho, Ramularia and Netblotch. At the moment as a general observation crops look relatively clean but growers still need to be mindful of the threat from these diseases. The end of April will be the last opportunity to apply the final split of fertiliser, so it is important that this happens.
Most winter oat crops has been taken care of with a growth regulator but growers should keep an eye out for Mildew and Crown Rust. Oat crops that I have seen look good and most growers should be happy with their progress at this stage.
March sown crops will be due for weed sprays, wild oat, and aphids if not already done. As the season has run late for many, April sown crops will be pushing into May before they will need attention for weed control. Thankfully most spring barley has been sown at this stage which is 2 weeks ahead of last year.
Winter Oilseed Rape (OSR)
It is a quiet time for Winter OSR as we are between spray programmes. All nitrogen will have been applied and crops will have been sprayed with a fungicide however, growers should now be watching for the fall of first petals as this will indicated that the next round of sprays is required for the control of sclerotina. Looking at crops currently, I anticipate this won’t happen until towards the end of April but crops and areas will vary, plus it looks like being a protracted flowering period due to crops being forward and flowering a lot earlier this year. Where the risk of sclerotina is higher it may be worth considering a 2 spray programme from around the 3rd week of April or at beginning of first petal fall and about 3 weeks later. Thankfully nearly all crops escaped pigeon damage this year and are looking great at present, showing great promise so we keep fingers crossed at this stage. Filan or Proline will be the products of choice.
For further advice on crops and an appropriate spray programme, please do not hesitate to contact any member of the Connolly’s RED MILLS agronomy team.