Our Farm: Clouds on the horizon as first winter crops begin to emerge
Looking around over the last few weeks, it seems that despite the economic outlook for crops being far from positive, there are a lot of autumn crops sown and the vast majority of these have been sown in excellent conditions.
This should give a huge boost towards achieving good yields next harvest.
It has been noted that fields that are in a good rotation where organic manures have been applied are coming on particularly well.
Some land is not necessarily showing the benefit directly after a break crop but over the course of a rotation, land seems to be better able to withstand adverse conditions as the extra fertility builds in 'reserve' into the crop.
As crops emerge and thoughts turn to weeds and BYDV control, there are further clouds on the horizon. The first thing to note is that this is the final year for use of IPU or Isoproturon.
We will have to become more adept at utilising expensive grassweed mixes in low to moderate risk situations, which is not something that is welcome.
In this the final year, perhaps it might be prudent to get used to the alternative arrays of alternative chemistry available. Or perhaps from a resistance management perspective and to give other chemistry as good a chance to operate for as long into the future as possible, perhaps a better route is to utilise the remaining IPU to the maximum and get used to other options only when we have to.
Another fly in the ointment, or perhaps more correctly in the leaf, is our increasing difficulty in controlling aphids. At this time of year, an emerging crop has no difficulty in carrying a few passengers so aphids, per-se, cause no difficulty in a crop.