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Talking agronomy with Sarah Symes: waiting for the right conditions

We have been holding off doing any Kerb (propyzamide) or Astrokerb (aminopyralid + propyzamide) recommendations in oilseed rape, as these products require soil temperatures to be below 8degC to avoid the active ingredient degrading too quickly in warm soils.

 

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We have been holding off doing any Kerb (propyzamide) or Astrokerb (aminopyralid + propyzamide) recommendations in oilseed rape, as these products require soil temperatures to be below 8degC to avoid the active ingredient degrading too quickly in warm soils.

 

Phoma infestations have been variable; where disease has reached threshold an application of Plover (difenoconazole) has been applied, with the view of coming back in in November with Proline (prothioconazole) to see us through the winter with light leaf spot protected against as well.

 

Mild temperatures and predicted rainfall for the end of October will see phoma levels increase. The early infection of phoma must have come in to the crop during wet weather at the beginning of September as only those crops established at this time were showing phoma above the 10% of plants infected threshold during October, and then only on the first true leaf.

Phoma incidence

Phoma infestations have been variable; where disease has reached threshold an application of Plover (difenoconazole) has been applied, with the view of coming back in in November with Proline (prothioconazole) to see us through the winter with light leaf spot protected against as well.

 

Mild temperatures and predicted rainfall for the end of October will see phoma levels increase. The early infection of phoma must have come in to the crop during wet weather at the beginning of September as only those crops established at this time were showing phoma above the 10% of plants infected threshold during October, and then only on the first true leaf.

 

Pests

Pests

Some small, late-sown crops are still struggling with the effects of flea beetle damage earlier on in the autumn, which has delayed applications of Centurion Max (clethodim) to black-grass-infested areas. It is now too late to apply Centurion Max as late applications are more likely to cause crop damage, so we will switch to Kerb or Crawler (carbetamide) instead.

 

Peach potato aphid (Myzus persicae) numbers have remained extremely low in the South, although we know that is not the case in other areas, and as a result we have not treated any oilseed rape crops to prevent aphids from spreading turnip yellows virus.

 

Pesticide treatments

All of our winter cereal area has been planted, with only late-sown wheat after maize waiting to be drilled. Growers with bad black-grass situations held off as long as they dare to get a chit and spray off to start with a good clean seedbed.

 

Wheat or barley crops in bad black-grass situations have had a highly stacked autumn residual programme, with Crystal + Hurricane (flufenacet + pendimethalin + DFF) to start, followed up with a Liberator (flufenacet + DFF) + Defy (prosulfocarb) at the 2-3 leaf stage. This will hopefully put us in a good position going into the spring.

 

The later drilling has reduced the number of grass-weeds emerging and where crops have received some rain after the first residual treatments were applied we are seeing signs of good herbicide uptake on those black-grass plants which have emerged.

 

Despite aphid numbers being low, we will assess the need to treat early-sown cereals with an insecticide for BYDV about mid-November.

 

All our cereal crops are Deter (clothianidin)-dressed as we are usually in a high BYDV risk area and this will give six-eight weeks aphid protection, but if the autumn stays mild or aphid numbers rise, early drilled crops could require treatment, but only, if aphids are found in the crop.

 

The lack of rain at the start of October has seen the slug pressure ease, with only spot treating required in many places.

 

Crops which have been direct drilled with straw mulch left on the surface have had the biggest issues with slugs, and have had to treat twice or sometimes three times to keep control of them. So far we haven’t seen too many other issues, but will be keeping a close eye on things in the coming weeks.

 

Winter beans have been sown and residual pre-emergence recommendations made.

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