Aa huge amount of work was done over the last week as farmers took advantage of the fine weather. Many crops have now been planted in good conditions and are coming up quickly as warm soil temperatures allow for quick emergence.

However, there are still large amounts of crops to be planted. Farmers on wetter land are only moving into those fields now, and wet weather this week is delaying planting.

Hopefully the coming days will allow a lot of cereal and bean planting to be wrapped up. Maize and beet planting is well underway across the country, while potato farmers are under pressure to get crops in as quickly as possible.


The first of the crops planted in the dry spell are emerging and should receive the remainder of their nitrogen as soon as possible. Get nitrogen into the ground quickly to give crops a good start and to try and avoid high protein contents in malting barley.


Beans are emerging quickly, so make sure you have the pre-emergence herbicide on before they come up. You will have to watch plants to see if they are coming near the surface before you spray. Dig down to find the seed.

Post-emergence weed control is limited on beans.


As most spring cereal crops are being planted after March the advice is to apply an aphicide, but farmers can decide this themselves.

Aphicides may also kill natural predators in your fields. It needs to be applied early to have the best chance of preventing barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV). The ideal timing is the three to four-leaf stage.

There is plenty of BYDV showing up in winter barley as would be expected. Crops were planted and land was too wet to apply an aphicide in the autumn time. Those crops are infected, and it is now too late to do anything about that infection.


Some wheat crops are still due a T1 fungicide, while others will be moving towards T2 timing. Keep an eye on the leaves. The T2 should be applied to the flag leaf.

Hopefully winter barley crops that had not been treated were looked after in recent days. The final fungicide on winter barley will be around awns emergence.

T1 and T2 on wheat and the T2 on winter barley should all include Folpet in the mix as part of an anti-resistance strategy. Oilseed rape crops may need a spray for Sclerotinia.

Shepherd can be applied at petal fall. Plant growth regulator should be applied before flag leaf emerging on winter barley. There does not look to be frost in the forecast for the next few days, but keep an eye on the weather and avoid growth regulator if frost is due overnight.


There is still plenty of work to be done on many farms. Take your time with jobs and attaching implements.

If you still have a big work load, see if you can get some help. Maybe a contractor could spread fertiliser or plough or drill to take the pressure off. Keep in touch with your adviser on crop protection.