Getting to Grips with Early Wheat Management
Effective early spring management will be the difference between success and failure for large areas of winter wheat across the country this season, believes Agrii research and development manager, Colin Lloyd. Management that is designed to address the special needs of late-drilled and late-developing crops under less-than-ideal soil conditions.
From our extensive Throws Farm-based research in previous difficult establishment seasons and under deliberately challenging trial regimes, he identifies three key management objectives – improving rooting, increasing tiller numbers and maximising tiller retention.
“We know sodden ground, difficult seedbeds and high seed rates add up to poor quality rooting, compromising both nutrient uptake and standing ability,” Colin points out. “Phosphate access will be particularly problematic in waterlogged soils.
“We also know crops drilled from late November struggle to tiller. And we know they find it harder to retain their tillers when spring and summer conditions get tough, but will do so with sufficient support.
“Thankfully, our R&D shows there’s much we can do to address these particular challenges through the right early season agronomy.
Your Agrii agronomist has access to this information and can support you with identifying the right management plan for your crops.
Backward Crop Priorities
- Do everything possible to encourage and retain tillers by maximising rooting.
- Apply early N and foliar P, S, Mn and Mg to make-up for soil access difficulties.
- Employ enhanced PGRs with superior cold weather activity to improve rooting.
- Target diseases which threaten rooting with morpholine-containing fungicides and
those with specific persistent mildew activity.
- Protect lower leaf area and efficiency assiduously with robust early T0 applications.
- Remove weeds as soon as practicable to restrict competition and allow free tillering.
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