UK’s winter-drilled crops in good condition

The latest crops report from the UK’s Agricultural Development and Advisory Service (ADAS) reveals that winter-drilled crops were in good condition at the end of March.

Additionally, the weather was mainly dry and mild with below average rainfall, allowing pesticide and fertiliser applications to be made and a start to cultivations ahead of spring drilling.

ADAS has said that winter wheat crops were in good condition at the end of March with typical crops at the mid to late tillering stage. Control of black-grass and broadleaved weeds was good, although some spring germinating weeds were starting to emerge towards the end of the month.

Septoria tritici blotch, mildew, yellow and brown rust were all present in crops at low levels. Most crops have received their first nitrogen application, with nitrogen being delayed to very forward crops in order to reduce lodging risk later in the season. Phosphorus, potassium and manganese were applied where needed.

Most winter barley crops were drilled in the optimum September-October window and have established well. Typical crops were at late tillering by the end of March, with more forward crops at early stem elongation. Low levels of Rhynchosporium, net blotch and brown rust were present in crops. Mildew levels were variable. Most crops have received their first nitrogen.

Good progress was made sowing out spring barley, with drilling 40% complete by the end of March. Most of the drilling progress was made on lighter land, with drilling on medium and heavy land beginning towards the end of March, once land had dried enough to allow the trafficking of machinery.

Cool nights checked the growth of oilseed rape crops, ADAS says, while weeds, for the most part, were well in check, with frosts aiding charlock control. Pigeons caused some grazing damage, but in the majority of cases crops are now growing sufficiently to recover from damage.

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