Tillage advice: Few signs of disease but ground conditions are already messy
Rain in mid May was very welcome for our late spring sown crops but enough is enough.
While last week provided very few spraying opportunities, ground conditions, particularly in potato fields were very messy.
So far there are very few of our wet weather diseases evident in crops but while there is very little rhyncosporium there are some worrying levels of net blotch. Keep an eye on Planet, Mickle and Propino which are all rated at 5 on the Department's recommended list.
Mildew is widespread across all unsprayed spring barleys. In general, there is very little BYDV evident in unsprayed crops in the Midlands - both early and late sown.
Crops sown after ley or very grassy stubbles are the worst affected but even those are showing less than 5pc affected. Spring barley crops with high plant stands and high tiller counts may benefit from the use of a growth regulator - watch growth stage restrictions carefully - gs 32 for CCC, Moddus, Optimus; gs 39 for Terpal, Cerone and Medax Max.
The best result will be got by applying them early rather than waiting for the latest possible timing.
Late timing and application to thinner crops tends to give an increase in green tillers at harvest and to ears remaining erect.
T2 fungicide applications to spring barley have just commenced. Crops have a long way to go to harvest so maintain robust rates or delay a little longer if your T1 cover and disease levels permit. The ideal timing is during awns emergence.