May 12, 2015
Looking good for now and planning ahead for next season
Most of our wheats had their T1s and our OSRs their sclerotinia sprays nicely ahead of the May Day downpour last weekend and the stormy spell that followed it. Thank heavens we took advantage of the first class spraying conditions we had towards the end of April even though we were on the early side of ideal for timings.
Coupled with some hard frosts late in the month, the very dry April held wheat diseases back well. However, with plenty enough Septoria in the base of almost every crop and serious triazole sensitivity concerns, we made sure our crops had a balanced mix of multi-site, triazole and SDHI chemistry at T1. Which is just as well with 30 mm of rain recorded at our Brotherton iFarm weather station over the last week certain to boost the spread of infections in warming weather.
With Septoria control the priority, we should have most of our T2s on by the time you read this. SDHIs will again feature strongly in most cases to protect all-important flag leaves. If we can get the timing as good as we have with the T1s, this will leave our wheats just where we want them to be going into flowering and grain fill.
Looking every bit as well at the moment is the bulk of our OSR. A very low early sclerotinia forecast this season means the earlier varieties, in particular, are unlikely to need a second flowering spray. With mid-flowering only just upon us in most cases, however, we won’t be holding-off on any top-ups should flowering be extended and the unsettled weather continue.
The decent drop of rain we’ve just had has been very welcome for all our crops. The April drought meant we’ve seen more manganese issues than for a good while on our lighter land. Regardless of soil type, it has also been very obvious which crops received sufficient spring sulphur and which did not.
Equally, the much larger acreage of spring beans we have in the ground this year really needed a good drink to keep it moving ahead to flowering and the start of our chocolate spot spraying in early June – where we plan to take advantage of the excellent yield responses we’ve seen from Nutri-phite PGA at this stage.
As we move into June and the main round of summer events and open days our thoughts are turning to varieties for next season.
Again this season, Dickens and old faithful Relay have been standing out for their solid dependability, with Revelation and Skyfall looking really good for the all-round disease resistance that has become so much more important in our variety choice.
Alongside these, we’re especially excited by RL-newcomer, KWS Lili. Together with Revelation and Skyfall, it has well-above Recommended List Septoria resistance ratings on the Agrii Advisory List – developed from extensive variety trials under commercial regimes and untreated disease monitoring plots across the country to complement the RL – on which we base our planning.
With grass weeds a growing issue for us, we’re also looking for varieties with particularly high black-grass competitive ratings as we know these can make a huge difference to performance. And, while yield potential remains as important as ever in our decision-making, we’re keeping bushel weights very much in mind as well; not least because we need the most saleable grain possible in the current market.
Cost-effective value will be our priority in OSR choice going forward too. With DK ExPower, Incentive and Harper really showing the advantage of vigorous hybrids in a slow and catchy spring, these will be our benchmarks. At the same time, we’ll be looking for top-notch combinations of light leaf spot and phoma resistance.
Just joining the Northern RL, DK Exentiel will be a major contender in this respect. We’re also keeping a close eye on emerging, very high gross output DK Exalte which has Agrii List resistance scores of 8 or more for both diseases.
You can email Sam your comments and opinions via firstname.lastname@example.org.