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Crop Health Updates - July 2019

General Comments

This time last year the cereal harvest was already underway, but this season it is off to a slow start. The wetter weather with occasional thunderstorms has been causing a few problems, with some crops toppling over and a need for some sun to help with grain fill in the last leg before harvest.  Disease levels in crops are relatively low so let’s hope for no burst of diseases on the heads of crops prior to harvest. There is still time to make sure that grain stores are pest-free before the harvest comes in.

The wetter weather has led to slugs trying to outdo each other by seeing who can climb the highest on some cereal crops! The wet weather is a godsend to slugs and they may well pose a higher threat this season for crops to be sown this autumn.


Forward planning - slugs

Anyone walking through crops (or anywhere where there is vegetation) this summer will be encountering slugs.  The periods of wet weather this summer to date will be encouraging the activity and survival of slugs, and will likely lead to an increased risk of slug damage to crops to be sown this autumn.  Read more here.

Winter barley - Variety choice for 2019 drilling

Using more resilient varieties is one of the most effective ways of reducing disease risk – and there is increasing interest in looking at untreated yields of varieties in trials and looking at the disease ratings.  There are some good advances in treated yields and that is still a strong driver in picking varieties – but looking at the yield loss when untreated is always useful.  Read more here.

Winter wheat - Variety choice for 2019 drilling

There are a lot of varieties to choose from but market demand will always be key.  Winter wheat varieties with soft endosperm remain the most important choices for Scottish growers in meeting the needs of the grain distilling sector.  Read more here.

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