After two seasons of considerable crop variability FGinsight will be following wheat fields on four farms from Kent to Berwickshire, tracking growth stage development through the season together with what agronomic actions may be necessary. This update relates to late March.
Our first spring fertiliser applications have started to go on, a few weeks behind where I’d agronomically like them due to the weather and a late spring. Crusoe has a particularly high biomass which should help deliver the target ears/sq.m and is heading towards GS31, but Siskin isn’t as developed. This is pre GS30, with three to four tillers.
Nitrogen rates will be adjusted accordingly. I’m anticipating Crusoe getting somewhere in the region of 40kgN/ha +/- 25% whereas the field of Skyfall will be increased to 50 - 60kgN/ha +/- 25% depending on how the satellite images influence the vari-rate applications.
The Crusoe has had a pre T0 of chlormequat plus Moddus (250 g/l trinexapac-ethyl) as this early drilled, thicker crop will need a strong stem base, whilst trying to encourage rooting.
T0 sprays will fall either side of Easter depending mainly on drilling date and the question is what goes with CTL? We will be adding PGR and manganese +/- tebuconazole for yellow rust susceptible varieties. The frost has suppressed the yellow rust but with a short latent period and new races we can’t be too careful. There’s plenty of septoria on early drilled crops at the moment and a few over winter weeds which will be addressed at T0 also.
There’s very little difference between the fields of Zyatt and Skyfall, apart from plant height. Both are at GS23 with two to three tillers but there are several inches between them.
Zyatt has developed quite well, and we are still to put our first spring fertiliser on. With the cold spell they’ve stopped moving but with the weather warming we’ll be getting on with a flat rate nitrogen + sulphur mix.
This season I’m planning variable inputs across the field of Zyatt. Last year we applied PGRs at variable rates to see the result on our lighter ground.
Although our fields are generally gravelly we do have a lot of in-field variation. What we found was that lowering rates on the lighter parts of the field helped preserve crop potential – sometimes up to the tune of 0.4t/ha.
I’m keen to see the results of this again and will also be doing the same with fertilisers and the disease control programme.
The earlier drilled crop has an average of seven tillers and is at GS30, the later GS25 with five tillers. Despite the winter it’s probably where I expected them as they did get plenty of pig muck to give them a helping hand.
But they need waking up and to cap a wet and cold winter we had another 5in of snow last week. Both fields will be getting Nitrogen + Sulphur. Rates will depend on muck applied in the autumn, but 70kgN/ha might be required. Manganese and magnesium will go in with the T0 spray.
T0 sprays will be applied week commencing March 26, the later drilled crop 7–10 days later. We’ve got septoria, yellow rust and some stem-based browning in both. I’ll be adding in a strob with CTL to damp down the rust and help with some N scavenging.
Timing is as important here as at GS32. Don’t use the T0 to push back T1 sprays as you might leave leaf three exposed to disease.
Kerrin winter wheat on the move - check everything & assume nothing. pic.twitter.com/eqduz5EJno— Sean Sparling ARAgS (@sasagronomy)
My biggest concern is the early sown Grafton after vining peas – it doesn’t look so good at the minute. It’s at GS27 but already it has lost some tillers. It will do that every season but this year has been made worse by the continued cold weather.
We’ve got to protect the tillers so I’m keen to get on with the fertiliser but nothing is moving yet. Normally we wouldn’t push it too hard but I think we’ll be looking at rates in the region of 80kgN/ha.
It’s also showing some manganese deficiency, although it hasn’t been particularly wet (average rainfall being 50-55mm per month from October to February) we haven’t had a continued dry spell. In the past we would normally hold off until the T0 but I’m not sure we’ll be able to do that this season.
We do need a slow developer in this drilling slot and there isn’t any real alternative to Grafton. In the past it has performed very well. KWS Lili is a little behind at GS24 and with four tillers. It probably won’t need the same rate of N as it seems to hold on to tillers better.
The cold east wind has really checked the disease pressure we had earlier in the season. Crops will still get a T0 and we usually go for Cherokee (chlorothlonil + cyproconazole + propiconazole) but we are some way off that.