This month’s update includes information on:
After a good harvest and with less now grown across the South of England, growers are optimistic about oilseed rape and I’d say the area is up slightly this year. We drilled our demonstration site at Coldstream on 19 August and although a wet September caused it to sit still for a time, its feet suddenly found the fertiliser, plants took off and it now looks great. Commercially, crops range from 2 true leaves to 5-6 true leaves and overall, have established well.
In this part of the world, growers will be looking to get a light leaf spot spray on in the next three weeks and the early drilled stuff – which is already meeting in the rows – might need an autumn plant growth regulator too. Phoma doesn’t tend to be a problem for us and I haven’t seen any symptoms this year so far.
Where a PGR is required, metconazole or specific PGR like Caryx (metconazole + mepiquat chloride) would be advised as soon as possible. For the light leaf spot spray at the end of the month, Proline (prothiconazole) will give the best results. Growers will sometimes mix in a follow up fungicide with propyzamide applications, but November normally is a wet month and you aren’t guaranteed to get on with the sprayer, so a robust three-quarter dose of Proline should be used initially for the best protection.
Growers have stopped drilling winter barley after reaching the cut-off date for success. About 67mm of rain fell through September and as it came in small doses, it was just enough to hold up the drills and set people back on the wheat. Farms are now taking every opportunity to get it in the ground.
Growers are rolling where they can, which will help the pre-emergence herbicides. The message is to drill-roll-spray as quickly as practically possible, as control will be compromised the later sprays are applied. Sterile brome and meadow grasses are the main targets and Liberator (flufenacet + diflufenican) tends to be the starting point, with Defy (prosulfocarb) added in and Avadex (tri-allate) is a popular part of the stack for brome control. Movon and Vigon (both flufenacet + diflufenican + flurtamone) can also add control, with the addition of flurtamone into the mix.
One thing growers should be mindful of is buffer zone restrictions on the products being applied in mixtures. Liberator has a Lerap B 5m reducible buffer zone around watercourses, but mixing partners or alternatives can be much wider, such as Hurricane (DFF) with a 6m non-reducible or Avadex Factor at 15m. You must adhere to the product label with the largest buffer zone in the mix. Failure to abide by the rules might result more valuable crop protection tools being lost.