The extended period of dry weather has allowed farmers to make signiﬁcant progress on ﬁeld work. For many growers it has been the earliest end to a spring planting season in a number of years. Crops have been much slower coming through with the well below average soil temperatures but this week’s rain has made a significant improvement.
Weeds are only just germinating due to the very dry conditions. To minimise the effects of competition on the crop and optimise the level of weed control, herbicide application should be carried out once all weeds have emerged but are still small, and before they begin to compete with the crop for nutrients and light. Carrying out the weed control when they are at the 2-4 leaf stage is much more effective especially on difficult weeds such as fumitory and knotgrass. Whilst chickweed resistant to a wide range of herbicides is commonplace right across the province, the inclusion of the active arylex into the herbicide tank-mix programmes in recent years has given improved control of chickweed and other problem weeds including fumitory and sets a new benchmark in terms of weed control in spring barley and wheat. Marketed as ZYPAR, it is available in co-formulation with the active ingredient florasulam and has excellent multiway compatibility along with a very wide range of other pesticides and has no major following crop restrictions. It gives excellent control of a wide range of broad-leaved weeds that includes chickweed, fumitory, fat-hen, groundsel, brassica weeds, and cleavers, but its weakest weed is redshank. Whilst it will control it alone up to 6-leaf, when tank-mixed with ALLY MAX or FOUNDATION it will control redshank right up to flowering.
Manganese (Mn) deficiency is widespread in many of our local soil types, and particularly damaging to leaf vigour and yield if not treated. Continuous cereal cropping, ground recently limed and dry soils all increase the likelihood of deficiency. Symptoms begin with small pale green speckles appearing throughout the leaf and these will progress to turn brown unless treated. Barley is particularly susceptible to Mn deficiency. MAXMAN is a highly concentrated Mn(40%) in a completely soluble chelated nitrate formulation and also supplies 10.8% Nitrogen and 11.4% Sulphur. A young plant that is growing extremely rapidly is producing a huge amount of new plant tissue each day. This rapid growth is limited only by the availability of nutrients to synthesise biomass, dependant on soil fertility and the plant’s own root development to take up the nutrients. It is at this time therefore when nutrient deficiencies are most likely to appear and in doing so, suppress growth rates.
The application of a broad-spectrum trace-element mix along with key macronutrients during this time is a very useful and beneficial way to supplement the plant’s nutrient requirements during periods when availability does not meet demand, most likely to coincide with phases of rapid growth i.e.during tillering and as stem extension begins. Application of a balanced and readily available source of macro & micronutrients that is topping up what is being made available from the soil at this key time will minimise the adverse effects of restricting nutrient availability. CEREAL HIGH N-supplies 250gm N, 125gm S, 38gm Mg, 93gm Mn, 45gm Cu and 15gm Zn per ha.
FASTMIX MAGNESIUM PLUS is an alternative product specifically formulated to meet the increased micronutrient demand of cereals and other combinable crops with good yield potential. It is a quick acting foliar fertiliser containing high levels of magnesium and sulphur as well as manganese, zinc and boron, all in a water-soluble form and readily available to the plant. It is very compatible in tank-mix with most pesticides and can be applied along with the T1 and T2 fungicide applications. Being a dry formulation, it should be fully dissolved in the tank first and other products added afterwards.
Because tiller numbers are one of the key components of yield, encouraging plants to produce more tillers, especially those later drilled, will improve yield potential. Apical dominance is caused by the apical (primary) tiller producing auxin, a hormone that then suppresses further development of the secondary tillers. When applied before the end of tillering onto spring barley and spring wheat, SELON suppresses the production of auxin, allowing the plant produce more tillers. Because an early application suppresses the main stem development and so diverts the growing efforts to the tillers, this extra growing effort also increases root development in the plant, so improving crop establishment, stem base lodging (not brackling) and yield. This treatment also gives a consistent straw shortening effect in wheat, but not in barley. Because of the later timing on spring oats, its effect on tiller numbers on this crop is negligible.
SELON is fully approved for use on spring wheat, spring barley and spring oats; it has no approval or EAMU for use on spring rye or triticale.