Tillage: Crops have recovered to normal growth levels
Many crops, particularly spring barley, wheat, oats and grass for second crop silage, have benefited from the heavy rain and good growth conditions of last week. Crops have generally caught up and are at normal growth stages for this time of the year, with many spring barley crops looking particularly lush.
The constant rain of last week has left some winter oats and particularly some heavy winter barley crops looking tossed.
Hopefully, as the heads are still light and yet to reach grain fill no serious lodging will occur and, with the likely improvement in weather, all will remain standing for some time yet.
Disease pressure has been low this year. Winter barley and oats remain very clean and have received their final fungicides so yield prospects look good. Wheat crops are showing three and four clean leaves with the final fungicide now recommended, if not already applied.
The product chosen, at this stage, might be used at reduced rates to save some costs. However, as most crops are in the crucial grain filling period and still six to seven weeks from harvest, skimping on the fungicide may not be the best plan.
The main diseases to watch for at this stage are fusarium and rust. Triazoles at 50-80pc rates of Gleam, Prosaro, Caramba or Folicur plus a 50-80pc rate of a strob should maintain clean crops.
A product such as Amistar Opti generally gives good value as the Chlorothalonil is included at little cost.
It is likely that winter wheat crops will need to be treated for aphids. This can be done at the same time.