Agriculture - Combinable Crops, Grass Seeds, Maize & Fodder Crops, Agri Chemicals

Arable Update

Posted: 01 Mar 2012

Spring has arrived and activity has begun in the fields.

Soil temperatures are up to 10 deg C at the moment, this is between 30 & 40% above normal. As a result, winter crops have begun to grow with earnest.

Winter Barley

Crops are approaching the end of tillering with many fields displaying a hungry appearance. Hungry crops should receive an application of N (40-50 units) as soon as possible to avoid loss of tillers and yield potential. P & K requirements should also be applied at this time.

Where one is concerned about a lack of tiller number/crop thickness, an application of a suitable PGR would also be recommended. This will encourage the plant to maintain tillers and prevent it getting too “leggy”.

Disease levels vary in crops depending on variety, rotation etc. There are many reports of Mildew & Brown rust in barley crops in the south. High levels of these diseases should be treated with an appropriate product.

Winter Oilseed Rape

Crops are entering the stem elongation stage. This is an important time to get the crop growing away from pigeon grazing. Very backward crops can receive up to 75% of their total N requirement now. Very leafy crops can have this first split of N reduced or delayed. Include as much Sulphur as possible in all N applications on rape.

P&K applications should be completed in rape now.

Once rape crops are at the green bud stage, the very important stem elongation fungicide should be applied. A trace element product such as Epso MicroTop should be included with this fungicide to supply Boron, Magnesium, Sulphur & Manganese to the rapidly growing crop. A second fungicide should be applied at early flowering for Sclerotinia control.

Winter Wheat

Crops vary from early tillering to end of tillering.

N applications can be made on 2nd crop/continuous wheat to boost tiller survival/root production.

N application can be delayed on 1st crop wheats, especially where crops are lush or very thick.
Monitor crops closely for development of mildew/brown rust due to the mild conditions.

In general, Septoria levels are high in crops. It looks like it will be a year for T0 applications.

Spring Cereal Planting

Spring sowings have been slow to date, lack of drying and fear of bird damage have been the main reasons for not sowing.

Soil temperatures are quite high so sowing should begin once we get suitable weather.

Remember that the optimum plant population for spring wheat, oats & barley is in the region of 350 plants/m2. These high plant numbers are especially important where soil N reserves are low and tillering could be reduced.

Spring Oilseed Rape

Sowing of spring oilseed rape should begin once we have passed St Patricks day. Hybrid varieties such as Delight will have extra vigour which is valuable at early sowing dates.
Soil temps need to be consistently above 8 deg when deciding to plant SOSR.

Non hybrid varieties Kumily & Tamarin will also be available this season.

A comprehensive guide to growing SOSR will be provided on our site before the sowing season begins.

John Dunne,
Cereal Variety Manager