You could almost see crops growing on Monday evening in the midlands, following steady rain on both Saturday and Sunday in many areas.

Crops which had been in need of moisture were looking much improved and really impressive.

Warmer temperatures over the previous week had also helped bring crops on.

Many winter barley crops which had been keeping low to the ground jumped up this week.

Those crops will most likely also get a boost from nitrogen becoming available after the rain.

Spring barley was also in need of that nitrogen, the shells of which could still be seen on the ground of many crops.

Spring and winter barley are the crops of the moment in the midlands and will take up much of the work this week and next.

That rain pushed on weeds and will allow for spraying of herbicide on spring crops this week and next.

Most spring barley crops were just starting to tiller, apart from a few later-sown crops which will most likely catch up this week.

This spray timing will also be crucial for applying nutrition on spring barley.

The dry weather of the past few weeks has allowed many deficiencies such as magnesium and manganese to show.

Winter barley

In the winter barley fields, there is huge variation in growth stages. The old reliable Cassia was still waiting patiently at the beginning of the week to allow its awns to emerge.

However, awns were out on LG Castings and Valerie, neither of which looked as appealing as Cassia.

KWS Joyau is also well advanced with the head at least half emerged.

It’s still early in the season, but it looks like many winter barley crops will get a final spray at the weekend or into next week.

Disease was kept well at bay in all crops, but those that are over three weeks since their last fungicide may come under pressure following the recent rain and need to be watched and treated when weather allows.

Graham winter wheat with leaf two emerged.

Winter wheat

Leaf two was almost fully emerged on winter wheat with no new septoria visible and no signs of rust on Graham.

However, it still needs to be watched for disease and fungicides changed accordingly.

Spring beans

Spring beans are well up at this stage and there are small bits of bean weevil present, but little to worry about.

Moisture and heat this week might help crops to move past the risky stage. Earlier-sown crops of beans are standing upright at this stage.