No need for panic despite the not so darling buds of May
Published 27/05/2015 | 02:30
Nature is providing plenty of opportunity to test the patience of the most resolute over the last month. We all have experience of inclement weather patterns, however, and cold Mays are something we have witnessed before.
Most crops are suffering in one way or another but there is plenty of time for recovery in most situations.
Winter barley seems to be the exception and crops in general have a fine colour and low disease levels.
The increase in height over the last few weeks has been remarkable. The final fungicide application is applied or soon to be applied and the gate will be closed until harvest. It's up to nature now to provide suitable weather during the very short grain fill, between early and mid-June, that barley needs to provide for high yields.
Winter wheat crops have generally low disease levels, no self-respecting septoria spore would be seen out in such cold. However, this will change as temperatures increase and the newly emergent flag leafs are critical to yield formation.
The flag leaf fungicide timing cannot be skimped on, it's a long way until the harvest. A lot of crops lost colour and look decidedly pale over the past few weeks, but higher temperatures will cause a release of soil nitrogen which should change the complexion.
Once again, it's the weather during the grain fill period in the end of June and early July that will have most impact on grain yield, not the weather in May.
Spring crops have definitely suffered from the cold weather during May. Spring barley crops are a kaleidoscope of colours from brown to yellow, to pale sickly green, with all kinds of deficiencies being apparent. The main deficiency has been soil temperature, which impacts on the release of nutrients to the plant.