Grab opportunities and rethink priorities
The flurry of activity that swept across the North West has come to an end with the thoroughly miserable weather we’ve had over Easter and the days that followed. Thankfully most crops have had a dose or two of fertiliser, though I’m not expecting them to win top prize for utilisation percentage!
The flurry of activity that swept across the North West has come to an end with the thoroughly miserable weather we’ve had over Easter and the days that followed. Thankfully most crops have had a dose or two of fertiliser, though I’m not expecting them to win top prize for utilisation percentage! The weather stifling the progress adds complexity to the agronomy of crop production, and opportunities have to be grabbed and priorities re-thought.
T0 is days away on the most forward crops – will the ground be in a condition that farmers will be prepared to travel on? We all know little direct yield benefit can be had when targeting Septoria at this timing, but that in the wet west it can help in the event of a delayed T1. What we shouldn’t forget is the other jobs we do at this time which can bare great importance to building harvestable yield, growth regulation/manipulation, and trace element nutrition. Few of us will be surprised to note that manganese has cropped up as low in recent tissue analysis of cereal crops, but Boron has also been identified in numerous occasions as being low. The sooner potential yield limiting factors can be identified & understood the quicker we can act and rectify without too much off-piste work.
OSR is continuing to make progress at green bud and many crops are carrying a lot of disease. This will need addressing as soon as possible, most likely with prothioconazole.
Precious little spring crops have been planted and none established. Seed rates will need to be reviewed and stocks perhaps prioritised in some areas – at the expense of not drilling others that won’t contribute to profit. From our own trials we have seen establishment as low as 50% on heavy soils, which is a difficult number to swallow, but could be common place this season.
I’m currently awaiting results for N-min samples for successive maize ground which has been carpeted with manure for many years. Many are under the impression some muck and DAP to start it will provide enough Nitrogen for the plants life cycle, but do not forget it is the plants ability to access that nutrition when it demands it that is the important factor. This is where foliar applied polymer-urea nitrogen with its high utilisation percentage and scorch free, slow release properties can benefit the crop greatly.