Nitrate regulations or not, farmers work according to calendar year
Calendar farming has been a bone of contention with farmers since the advent of the nitrate regulations. But, the reality is that, when the crunch comes, farmers often work by the calendar anyway.
For example, this year many wheat growers have applied their T1 in the latter part of April without determining if the third leaf was fully out. They are now facing having to do a T1.5 in order to get to full flag leaf coverage before their T2.
The same farmers will probably spray three weeks after the T1, regardless of the crop growth stage. Second to timing is product choice. This is important, but is being restricted.
Growth stages (GS) in winter wheat currently range from 31 in late-sown, cold soils right up to 39 in some very early parts of the country. This is why some crops are still not due their T1, while others are due their T2.
Rotate epoxicolazole products with prothioconazole to reduce the risk of resistance build-up. Most programmes will include SDHI at T2. It is better to use higher rates of triazole than reduced rates of SDHI. Bravo should be included at both T1 and T2 and probably at T3.
However, omit Bravo if your timing is late as it reduces kickback. But don't be tempted to go too early with a spray because, if leaves emerge after spraying, they will be exposed to infection.
Most winter barleys have received their T2 and are relatively clean. SDHIs are strong on ramularia and are good for retaining green leaf. Bontima should perform well on clean crops. Use Siltra type products on crops with established rhyncosporium. It is preferable to include Bravo unless kickback is required.
Spring barley emerged very fast this year and plant stands range from good to excellent. With high soil temperatures and good growing conditions, crops will move through the growth stages quickly, but this can result in poor tillering.