Great weather will help crops power through growth stages
For the most part those who were considering not planting this year have succumbed to the glorious weather and it appears almost all tillage land will be sown again.
Crops sown over the last week or so should be through the ground relatively quickly and, all going well, will power through the growth stages without a hitch.
Last week, as part of the ongoing Teagasc spring crop walks, I visited some farms in the south east. The first farm had a crop of advanced Cordial winter wheat which was sown after beans on October 14.
This crop was at a strong first node and was likely to reach the second node by early this week. The crop had received its first split of nitrogen and the second split was applied over the weekend. The application of a growth regulator was a priority for this crop and again it should have received it over the weekend.
In terms of the correct choice of growth regulator, the grower had a choice but time was not on his side. Although the crop was unlikely to have reached terminal spiklet (the latest growth stage where the application of CCC could inflict damage) an alternative growth regulator to straight CCC should be considered.
Products such as Meteor (2.0-2.5l/ha) or Canopy (1.2-1.5l/ha) have label clearance to be applied to a crop up GS32. Canopy can be applied up to flag leaf. Straight CCC products are restricted up to GS31.
The crop had septoria on its older leafs but no active lesions were present. The next job was to split a plant to see the position of the leaves. It revealed that the fourth last leaf was half way out and the third last leaf was unlikely to appear for about seven to 10 days. As Cordial is not the cleanest variety, chlorothalonil 1.0l/ha (Bravo) would be added with the growth regulator and the first main fungicide would be planned for the last week of April.
On the same farm, Sparrow spring wheat, sown in mid February, was at the three-leaf stage and a good scattering of weeds were present. Paring back to soil revealed plenty of weeds yet to emerge and the slight cap on the surface was probably holding back this emergence a little. It is planned to apply a herbicide like Ally Max (half rate) plus CMPP to the crop towards the end of this week. The rate of the herbicide will be dictated in part by the growing conditions in the days leading up to the application.