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Wheat

Getting the most from your wheat crop means making smart decisions throughout the season to get the best control of threats to your yield from diseases, weeds and pests.

Posted 4 months ago

December

What's happening in wheat in December

While in recent years, conditions have been favourable for good autumn black-grass control, it hasn’t worked that way this year. A handful of dry days scattered throughout November has led to further delays to winter wheat drilling.

Far less flufenacet being used in the autumn means there is likely to be a greater grass and broadleaved weed burden in spring 2020. This poses a real risk of big seed returns from a wide range of weeds, if control programmes are not tailored to this different challenge. As a result, it will be vital to frequently assess fields for weed germination and plan to utilise spring herbicides to minimise seed return.

Delayed drilling will have reduced the threat from Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus (BYDV) in the first season without access to Deter (clothianidin). But it is still worth monitoring the AHDB’s Aphid Bulletins, familiarising yourself with BYDV aphid vectors here, and utilise the t-sum calculation to guide when you may have to spray.   

Priorities this December (location dependent):

  • Drill winter wheat, when the time is right 
  • Assess how delayed drilling may impact weed burden in spring and plan control programmes accordingly 
  • Closely monitor crops during establishment and watch out for BYDV-carrying aphids

November

What's happening in wheat in November

The heavy downpours towards the end of October will have caused concern for those growers who were looking to delay winter wheat drilling to capitalise on weed control opportunities. Any significant break in the rain is likely to now result in drilling as much winter wheat as possible, in order to get the crop in the ground. Those with heavier land in particular, may have to consider a spring crop instead in some circumstances. 

For those who were able to drill winter wheat it is also been challenging for applying pre-emergence herbicides. Our commercial technical manager Ben Giles has highlighted 7 tips on how to use Liberator safely and effectively in these challenging conditions.

Delayed drilling will have reduced the threat from Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus (BYDV) in the first season without access to Deter (clothianidin). But it is still worth monitoring the AHDB’s Aphid Bulletins, familiarising yourself with BYDV aphid vectors here, and utilise the t-sum calculation to guide when you may have to spray. 

Priorities this November (location dependent):

  • Drill winter wheat, when the time is right
  • Apply pre-emergence herbicides but consider how to mitigate the challenging conditions

Closely monitor crops during establishment and watch out for BYDV-carrying aphids

October

What's happening in wheat in October

Most growers with black-grass problems will be planning to delay winter wheat drilling into mid-October. However, while it pays to be as late as possible, if the heavy downpours of recent weeks continue, many growers’ hands will be forced to ensure the crop gets in the ground, especially on heavier land.

For those able to delay, the first few weeks of October represent a final opportunity to spray off as much black-grass as possible with Roundup (glyphosate), before drilling.

Remember delayed drilling will help reduce Septoria disease pressure, and also the risk of barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) which is worthy of particular attention given this is the first season without access to Deter (clothianidin). Monitor the AHDB’s Aphid Bulletins, familiarise yourself with BYDV aphid vectors here, and utilise the t-sum calculation to guide when you may have to spray. 

Priorities this October (location dependent):

  • Complete cultivation programmes to encourage grassweed germination, and spray off accordingly
  • Drill winter wheat, when the time is right
  • Closely monitor crops during establishment and watch out for BYDV-carrying aphids

September

What's happening in wheat in September

Now is a good time to reflect on the last season and where to make improvements in the coming seasons. In particular, reassess your black-grass control programme. Consider where the worst areas on the farm are, and what special measures may be necessary.

Bayer’s Black-grass Task Force launched recently with the aim of translating black-grass trials work into field scale practices, on two farms with very different grassweed issues. In our series of blogs and videos, we discuss with experts how best to tackle black-grass on these farms.

Find out more about the Black-grass Task Force and how these farms are tackling black-grass here.

Priorities this September (location dependent):

  • Assess success of agronomic regimes
  • Start planning next year’s black-grass control programmes

June

What's happening in wheat in June

Cereal crops across the country are looking healthy after fairly warm temperatures and rain in recent weeks, but it means there is the odd sign of disease in wheat crops.

T2 sprays have all been applied, and crops are holding on well. On the lightest land there were initially some early signs of drought stress, but recent rainfall should have provided the moisture required for them to reach full potential.

Disease pressure has been relatively low, but in some cases wheat crops are carrying a lot of latent Septoria. The recent rainy weather may have led to symptoms appearing and Septoria spreading through the crop. Showers just ahead of key fungicide  timings have seen growers remain vigilant to the threat and fungicide programmes have generally been robust to protect yield.

Now, in the beginning of June, most if not all T2 fungicides will have been applied to wheat crops, so attention will soon turn to ear sprays. Fusarium and microdochium are now key targets due to the wet flowering period. We are also seeing yellow rust in some varieties, which will have prospered in the showery conditions of early June.

Priorities this month (location dependent):

  • Time wheat T3 fungicide sprays at mid-flowering for most effective control, T3 fungicide timing is key for effective ear disease control in wheat
  • Product choice and dose plays a big role in wheat ear disease control results
  • Use a minimum 50% dose of PTZ when targeting ear disease complex
  • Proline is the most effective product for fusarium and microdochium control in wheat
  • If rust is a risk in your crop add tebuconazole or a strobilurin at T3
  • Spray off bad blackgrass patches in wheat to reduce seed return

Black-Grass: The Definitive Resource

Controlling black-grass is a year-round task, using a wide range of cultural and chemical controls.

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