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Crop Advice & Expertise

How to look after crops through November and beyond in East Anglia

Sam Harvey provides an update on tasks to consider during November

Crop Progress

October has been a particularly favourable month of weather for land work, being mild and moist but for the most part not wet. That means plenty of wheat was drilled in good conditions in mid-October.

My only concern is: has it been a week to 10 days early from a black-grass control perspective? Ideally, if you could be sure of the conditions you’d probably have wanted to wait until at least the third week of October before starting on dirty land, but understandably with the weather forecast, growers have cracked on. If it were my farm, I would have done the same. It’s been a few years since we’ve had good conditions in October and wheat and barley have gone in well.

Oilseed rape varies tremendously by drilling date, largely a consequence of when land was cleared with the stop-start harvest, but there are some large canopies and some reasonable-looking crops.


Sam’s agronomy tips for November

1. Finish autumn weed control programmes

For those still drilling wheat in November behind roots, where difficult grass weeds are an issue, it is important to maximise the delayed drilling by applying a good pre-emergence residual herbicide programme.

Our recommendation where seedbed conditions allow for a pre-emergence application is Liberator (flufenacet + diflufenican) + Proclus (aclonifen). Proclus used in conjunction with Liberator provides a novel new mode of action with good persistence for grass weed control in winter wheat, and offers improved efficacy especially where challenging less sensitive populations of grassweeds exist. Crucially the consistency of performance comes through where aclonifen is incorporated in the programme.

Diversity in the modes of action used for grass weed control is increasingly important, given the sensitivity shifts seen against various actives. When you consider the actives used across a typical rotation there aren’t many different groups. Aclonifen has a mode of action that sits on its own in terms of HRAC classification, so it’s a useful piece of the jigsaw in conjunction with cultural controls to help steward the situation.

For wheat crops drilled in October or before, a residual top up might be required in November at early post-emergence, again to maximise grass weed control. This timing fits well for our metribuzin-containing options Alternator Met or Octavian Met (flufenacet + diflufenican + metribuzin).

They can be used up until the end of November at 0.5 L/ha, adding in another mode of action to what will have been used previously at pre-emergence. Where there are emerged grass weeds Atlantis OD (mesosulfuron + iodosulfuron) or Hamlet (mesosulfuron + iodosulfuron + diflufenican) will add to the contact activity.

The Met products are also useful for either pre-emergence or early post-emergence weed control on lighter land after roots. It will give good control of annual meadow grass and broadleaved weeds, including some like groundsel and cranesbill that often aren’t covered by other products.


2. Monitor T-Sum scores for aphids

October has been particularly mild; crop emergence has been fast and calm days have been conducive to aphid migration so there is potentially a risk of barley yellow dwarf virus being transmitted via aphids. Use AHDB’s T-Sum calculator to understand when crops are likely to be at risk to help guide monitoring.

Controlling second generation aphids is key, and are likely to be present when accumulated daily air temperatures from crop emergence, above a baseline of 3C, reach T-Sum 170. It’s also worth keeping a watch for published results to understand what proportion of aphids migrating our actually infected with virus before spraying.


3. Protect oilseed rape crops from disease

Oilseed rape harvest was delayed for some, which meant there were crops that saw their first birthday in the field, and consequently in some cases a full green bridge to this season’s crops. This combined with large canopies as a result of early drilling, could mean crops are particularly high risk for light leaf spot, especially if conditions remain mild and go wet.

Our SpotCheck service will help you identify the extent of latent light leaf spot infection in crops. From November through to February last season saw around 70% of sampled crops carrying latent light leaf spot infections, which was an increase on the year before so the pattern is for increased incidence of the disease.

This season there is the option of using Aviator (bixafen + prothioconazole) in the autumn at 0.5-0.75 L/ha, which with an additional mode of action gives greater efficacy on both phoma and light leaf spot, as well as the benefit of resistance management.


4. Use FieldView to review and learn from last season and create your own on farm trials

There is still the opportunity before the end of the year to sign-up for a free year’s trial of our digital platform Climate FieldView Plus. The digital platform enables you to easily review and analyse what you’ve done to better inform your decisions going forward.

Setting up now isn’t a problem as you can easily import historic data, be it yield maps or other layered data. In addition you’ll have access to the previous five years of satellite imagery.

Once you’re set up its easy as data moves seamlessly and automatically to your FieldView account and is ready at your fingertips in real-time whenever you want to interrogate, compare and analyse or share with your agronomist for example.

Seeing field applications in real-time not only helps provide instant agronomic information but also helps with farm logistics too, such as where equipment is and how long remains until a machine completes a field. All your information is in one place and the FieldView app makes for easy analysis of the decisions you’ve taken.

If you would like to sign up for a free Climate FieldView get in touch.

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