Winter wheat crops in counties Down and Antrim are currently facing severe septoria pressure, according to agronomist Richard Owens. He has advised growers to apply a T1 spray over the next few days, which should include a good SDHI, a triazole, folpet, and a growth regulator. Owens revealed that most wheat crops in his area are at growth stage 31, and the wet conditions during March encouraged disease-related issues that are now apparent. He also noted that most wheat crops planted last September and early October are looking good, but those planted prior to Christmas and early January need to catch up. Owens recommends applying all remaining nitrogen to crops in the coming days.
Winter barley crops are not facing a Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus (BYDV) problem this year, according to Owens. However, he cautioned that a full handle on the matter won’t be available until the ears emerge. Most crops are at growth stage 37, with the flag leaf emerged. Owens also noted that Rhynchosporium and Net Blotch are major disease challenges within barley crops, and he recommends a T1 mix that includes a strong SDHI, a triazole, and an appropriate growth regulator. He added that there are many yellow-looking crops across the country that need a nutritional boost, and trace element requirements should be checked. Owens also suggested that seaweed extracts can help boost backward-looking crops, and foliar nitrogen can be applied in certain instances.
In terms of spring planting, most barley crops are now in the ground, according to Owens. He expects the weather to improve over the next few days, giving farmers the opportunity to finish planting their spring barley crops. After that, he said, it will be a case of getting on with forage maize and whatever whole crop options farmers are considering this year. Owens urged farmers to stay on top of their crops and apply the necessary treatments to ensure a successful harvest.