Steady as she goes

The virtually ideal growing weather of the past few weeks is really driving on crops. This is most noticeable in spring crops which appear to be moving steadily through growth stages. Most areas seem to have adequate rain with more to come, but some areas were a bit dry, especially for spring crops.

The generally dry conditions are doing a lot to keep the wet season diseases like septoria and rhyncho at bay. However, there are reports of a few exceptionally bad net blotch outbreaks in a few spring barley fields.

This seems to be confined to Planet which is rated as moderately susceptible. Still, no harm to look at other varieties too, just in case.

Other than that most other crops seem generally clean, with the exception of some of the dwarf viruses in winter crops. A little bit of mildew down in some spring oat crops but it does not seem to be moving (for now).

Winter wheat

Crops have remained clean thus far but septoria is always a threat. Most crops have moved quickly to full flag leaf emerged stage, so it’s time for T2 once the flag leaf is unfolded. T2 fungicides remain very important as we are likely to see pressure build if broken weather continues.

Change the actives, especially the azole, for the T2. Protecting the ‘new’ actives means alternating them, using a good dose of azole with the SDHI and adding folpet to the tank with the other actives.

Some crops received a strong product at T1, but this treatment still needs a strong mix of Triazole/SDHI (Librax, Ascra, Elatus Era etc) or one of the newer actives – Revystar XL or Aquino/Peacoq/Questar plus prothioconazole or Juventus.

With futures prices for wheat at €430/t dry, one might consider topping up your N rate by 40-60kg N/ha now. The rate will obviously depend on the potential of individual crops, the amount of N already applied, the appearance of the crop and the history of organic matter use in each field.

Winter barley

Crops vary but most are headed or heading out, so it is time for the final fungicide. Most crops remain clean (except for virus) with healthy leaves to the ground.

Spray at the early stages of awn/ears emerging to get the contact spray (folpet) on in good time to protect against ramularia. Crops that have suffered drought stress may be more prone to ramularia.

Options include Elatus Era, Fandango, Macfare Xpro, Mandarin Xpro, Revystar XL, Variano Xpro and Siltra Xpro, or mixtures containing prothioconazole and an SDHI or strobilurin.

Spring barley

Crops have shown good growth over the past week and some are now in stem extension and need a fungicide. Many have already received herbicide.

Aphids are visibly building but early crops are unlikely to benefit from an aphicide. Later crops are more at risk, especially ones where establishment was patchy and uneven. Crops only become safe after they have covered the ground.

Oats and wheat are at stem extension which is time for a growth regulator. Watch for mildew and rusts.