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Crop watch: Spring chill puts the brakes on crop growth – Farmers Weekly – Ben Pledger

Ben Pledger takes a look at agronomic issues in the East (Bedfordshire/Hertfordshire) ...

By now, most forward crops of winter wheat will have had a plant growth regulator at the growth stage 30 timing, and varieties sitting lower down the yellow rust scoring – such as Skyfall and Kerrin – or where yellow rust has been present, have had a fungicide applied as well, based on tebuconazole and azoxystrobin.

The varieties with a more robust rating for yellow rust, such as Crusoe, Siskin and Costello, have been left to do what they’re supposed to be good at. This is with the proviso that if any of them start to break down with rust before the T1 timing, an application of tebuconazole may be needed.

Winter oats are coming up for their first plant growth regulator of the season, and the recent weather – most notably big swings in temperature – has not been conducive for getting it on in a stress-free manner.

Prohexadione calcium + trinexapac-ethyl will be used in most cases, as it is kinder to the crop than chlormequat.

Herbicides and fungicides will all be applied separately to these crops to avoid stress as much as possible. With a relatively short window for these applications and associated intervals between, forward planning of sprayer movements between crops becomes key at this busy time of year.

Most sugar beet in the area has been drilled, in most cases into moist, fine seed-beds. I’m looking forward to a nice, warm spell, with adequate moisture so that all of the weeds flush at once and herbicide applications on conventional beet are reduced to a standard two-spray programme.

Unfortunately, if the British weather gets its way, the one-off herbicide application of the Conviso system will shine through on standard weed control for a second year, as well as delivering its benefit of weed beet control.

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