The gate is likely to be firmly shut on most crops in Scotland until March. Oilseed rape crops at the back end of last year were looking good, and up until the end of January about the only possible activity would be getting any propyzamide applied for grassweeds in the crop.
Infection levels in oilseed rape with light leaf spot were quite high, but the cold, frosty days in the last month should have meant the disease should have subsided slightly.
So far, reports of pigeons in oilseed rape crops have been quiet but I did see one field which I would describe as “grey” just into the New Year.
Backward crops in particular though need looking out for, so get prepared to use the usual array of scarers, bangers, flying things to keep pigeons away.
While it is unlikely that many growers will be looking to spray before March it will be worth keeping an eye on light leaf spot infection levels during February so you are prepared to go at early stem extension with a Proline (prothioconazole) if infections are spotted.
The Bayer Spotcheck service is helpful – samples are sent off to ADAS and can confirm whether any leaves sampled are carrying light leaf spot or any other oilseed rape disease within a few days.
February is a good time to walk wheat fields to assess weed burdens and identify any brome patches, so you know what you are going to be targeting for weed control.
Once growthy conditions start, especially for weeds like brome, you’re going to want to be getting on. In theory you could be treating in February with Pacifica Plus (mesosulfuron + iodosulfuron + amidosulfuron) but it’s unlikely in reality unless ground conditions allow.
If you’re planning to spray off cover crops with glyphosate, then in cooler conditions the surfactants and superior formulation of Roundup products will increase reliability. Assess what species you have in the cover and match the rate of glyphosate to those hardest to kill, such as fodder radish for example. A good water volume will help increase penetration into the cover.
Effective weed control is essential for any crop to fulfil its yield potential. However, the task is becoming harder as the chemical armoury shrinks and resistance reduces the effectiveness of some herbicides. There is now much more focus on integrating chemical and cultural weed control options. Take the test below to see how much you know about managing weeds in combinable crops.
We know that growing oilseed rape can be challenging so we have gathered together everything you need to know about oilseed rape here. From establishment to harvest we can provide insight about crop management and protection to help maximise yields.