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Wheat growth stage countdown (4)

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 May.


Marianne   Curtis

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Marianne   Curtis
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Kerrin has raced through the growth stages in Lincolnshire
Kerrin has raced through the growth stages in Lincolnshire

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Wheat growth stage countdown (3) Wheat growth stage countdown (3)

Tristan Gibbs, independent agronomist, Sittingbourne, Kent. Crusoe drilled September 26, Siskin drilled October 6.

Tristan Gibbs, independent agronomist, Sittingbourne, Kent. Crusoe drilled September 26, Siskin drilled October 6.

After being three weeks behind we are now a week ahead. The flag leaf is fully out on both crops and T2s were applied last week.

 

The Siskin has put on a little bit more biomass and both crops currently possess good potential, especially Crusoe. We have a YEN entry and in hindsight this might have been the better crop. There is a risk of it falling over so those late PGRs could be vital.

 

Despite the hot weather Crusoe still only has low levels of brown rust, which has been kept in the bottom of the crop by T2 sprays. Septoria should also be held with a short gap from T1 applications, and dry weather forecast.

 

If this warm weather continues then flowering could be on us earlier than expected. This could boost yield further if we see grain fill extended.

 

The next task is T3 sprays. This will be an azole only as there is antagonism with certain strobilurin fungicides for microdochium.

 

Simon Beddows, farmer, Dunsden Green Farm, Berks. Skyfall drilled October 11, Zyatt drilled October 24.

Simon Beddows, farmer, Dunsden Green Farm, Berks. Skyfall drilled October 11, Zyatt drilled October 24.

By calendar we are where we were last season. Skyfall had its T2 on May 19 – that is less than two weeks from T1. The main disease is septoria but we are on top of it. Little knock down was needed so I opted for a good protectant in Elatus Era (benzovindiflupyr + prothioconazole) with CTL.

 

Zyatt is a little behind, and the tip of the flag leaf is visible. It is likely to get its T2 this week. Again it is pretty clean so the focus will be on protection over disease eradication

 

The last top up of solid N fertiliser will be applied this week to the milling varieties. With the winter wheat we are now at a similar growth stage to what we were this time last year.

 

Sean Sparling, AICC chairman, Lincoln Heath. Two fields of Kerrin, drilled September 12 and October 5.

Sean Sparling, AICC chairman, Lincoln Heath. Two fields of Kerrin, drilled September 12 and October 5.

The two fields of Kerrin have largely caught up. After racing through the growth stages the early drilled crop has the flag leaf out between 30% and fully emerged. The later drilled crop has the flag leaf emerging.

 

For the September drilled crop T2 sprays will be going on early next week and probably 5-7 days later for the October drilled field.

 

Robust and thankfully well timed T0 and T1 sprays have largely dealt with disease threats. Septoria is still in the base of Kerrin but my concerns have been eased with T1s protecting new foliage - leaves one, two and three are reasonably clean. But you can never discount the fact that some latent septoria could be lurking in leaf two so the curative activity of products like Ascra (prothioconazole + bixafen + fluopyram), Adexar (epoxiconazole + fluxapyroxad) and Aviator (prothioconazole + bixafen) is always welcome. CTL will be included in all epoxi based treatments and seriously considered where Aviator or Ascra are chosen. In certain other varieties, yellow rust is something to behold.

More Sparling

Aside from disease, both fields are showing some signs of magnesium deficiency but this will be rectified with MgSO4 (bittersalts) in with the T2. Late emerging broad leaved weeds are also a slight worry. The crops have sucked up the available nitrogen and they look green and with plenty of potential. But good growing conditions have triggered weed populations too. Treatments for broad leaved weed, cleavers, volunteer potatoes etc, will be included with the T2 where required.

David Fuller, farmer, Coldstream Mains, Berwickshire. Grafton drilled September 4, KWS Lili drilled September 20.

David Fuller, farmer, Coldstream Mains, Berwickshire. Grafton drilled September 4, KWS Lili drilled September 20.

It will probably be the shortest T1-T2 gap here at Coldstream. The flag leaf is 90% out on the main tiller and emerging on side tillers with Grafton - Lili is just a touch behind. Both crops have simply scorched through the growth stages. This means our T2 sprays could be going on less than two weeks after T1s.

 

Both crops will get and azole + SDHI + CTL mix. The crops are still quite short and although septoria is in the base it hasn’t got far to go. Grafton isn’t showing signs of yellow rust but with its susceptibility you can’t discount it. I will opt for epoxiconazole here, probably Adexar as metconazole isn’t so good against the disease. It had Ascra at the T1 so I would want to rotate primary azole anyway. An additional PGR is not needed with crops being so short.

 

We’ll also be applying some magnesium at this stage too. We’ve had a dry spell and the next two weeks look dry too. It boosts chlorophyll content and with our extended grain fill period helps push yield, but we have found it particularly useful in drier conditions. Whether it provides some drought tolerance I cannot be sure, and generally we do just get enough moisture hit that soils don’t dry out completely.

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