Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Sunday 21 January 2018

Majority of crops have escaped both disease and lodging despite the weather's best efforts

Pat Minnock

Pat Minnock

The extremely wet weather of the last few weeks has left field work difficult at best. However, low disease pressure has helped to keep most crops very clean with only early-sown winter wheat showing relatively high levels of septoria.

If you haven't already done so, T3 sprays should be applied this week. The chemical choice will be dictated by the level of disease present, with robust rates of triazoles or SDHIs essential where septoria levels are high.

The disease targets are septoria tritici and nodorum, rusts, mildew and ear diseases. A strobilurin should also be considered on crops with yield potential for the control of micodochium nivale. These chemicals also help to prolong the "greening effect".

A mildewicide should also be included, particularly in mildew-prone varieties such as Lion, Cordial, JB Diego and Einstein.

Winter barley crops seem to have stood reasonably well considering the high levels of rainfall.

The potential for lodging will increase as the crops become heavier through grain fill. Crops appear very clean and the yield potential looks good.

At the moment it appears that the winter barley harvest will be later than normal this year, but a few good weeks can make a big difference.

Winter oats is the crop that appears to have suffered most from lodging. Large tracks of winter oat crops can be seen flattened.

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In addition to the poor weather, the higher nitrogen usage and the reduction in growth regulator rates are the biggest culprits for this. Much of the lodging damage occurred with the heavy rain of June 7 and 8. Many of the crops were in flower and grain fill had not started.

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This means that crops were not particularly heavy and most have made attempts to stand back up. Further heavy rains will lead to grain quality problems, however.

Spring barley and spring wheat crops are some of the heaviest crops I have ever walked. The heavy rains caused much early lodging in these, with some spring oat crops also affected. This early lodging may not be as serious as it looks and many will recover to a degree.

However, further heavy rainfall will not be welcome.

Again, these crops are relatively clean. Some rhyncosporium can be seen in early crops of spring barley, especially where fungicides were delayed.

The final spray can now be applied and should include a combination product of a triazole, strobilurin and chlorothalonil, or a SDHI.

Many crops of spring wheat require treatment for mildew and should also receive a robust rate of a triazole or SDHI. A growth regulator, Terpal, up to growth stage 45 on spring wheat and barley might also be included for the heavier crops.

Cerone is no longer cleared for use on spring barley.

Weed control in fodder beet appears to be particularly good this year, possibly due to the higher soil moistures which help residual chemicals to work better.

The application of graminicides such as Falcon, Stratos Ultra, Aramo or Fusilade Max for wild oats and scutch control should now be considered. Lower rates of these products can be used if wild oats is the only problem.

Beans have progressed well and are in full flower. Chocolate spot and downey mildew is visible in advanced crops. A two-spray programme is recommended. Options include chlorothalonil with or without Amistar, Folicur, Fezan or Signum. New stocks of Folio Gold cannot be used but off-label approvals include Dithane 945, NT and Ridomil Gold MZ.

Spring oilseed rape is also in full flower. All nitrogen should be applied at this stage. Pollen beetles are plentiful and should be sprayed with 75ml of Karate with the addition of boron, magnesium and a fungicide such as Folicur.

Finally, Camelina, the new oilseed crop, is also progressing well.

It is about 0.5-0.75m high and in full flower. It has only received 120kg/ha of nitrogen and Butisan S for weed control so far.

Pat Minnock is a Carlow-based agricultural consultant and a member of the ACA and the ITCA. www.minnockagri.ie

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