Sun finally shining on rising crop yield
With the improved weather, especially the temperatures over the last few weeks, recent growth of all crops has been significant. Crops look to have reasonable yield potential at last, but there is still some way to go yet.
Unfortunately, grain prices have continued on their downward spiral and at this stage, even with reasonable yields, break-even points may be hard to achieve. Considering this, the cost of the last fungicide should reflect this.
Winter wheat has progressed well and many thin and patchy crops have filled out and look reasonable now. They are generally much shorter than normal. Crops are very clean and disease levels are low.
Septoria Tritici pressure has increased considerably over the past two weeks and if there is an unsettled weather forecast, there is a risk of various ear diseases creeping in. We have entered the critical period for grain filling. The final T3 fungicide should be applied immediately, if not already. This could include a half to two-thirds rate strobilurin, a half-rate triazole and a full-rate chlorothalonil.
While aphid counts have been low, many crops are now showing significant levels in the head. Spraying with 0.8 l of dimethoate when there is an average of five aphids per head is recommended with the T3.
Winter barley has matured nicely and grain fill looks good. Some hybrids, especially Volume, have higher ear counts relative to conventional types and look particularly good. This may be the standout crop this year. However, again, grain prices are very disappointing.
Consideration should be given to arranging a storage facility for this grain initially. If selling on to end users, make sure of your money.
Spring barley grain filling is also proceeding well and there is good potential to produce quality grain. The current mix of sunshine, rain and good temperatures will aid this process. All crops, even some unsprayed crops, remain relatively disease free. This crop is also short relative to other years but more rainfall will still extend these crops in height.