Crop Health Updates - September 2019

General Comments

The weather continues to hamper cereal harvests, with a great deal done over the previous weekend before the rains came again mid-week.  Cereal yields are reported from below average to very good, although grain is needing to be dried to try and get moisture contents down. Some wheat crops are causing concern as they have gone down and slugs are feeding on the grain.  The slow harvest is delaying sowing of winter cereals and some oilseed rape is still in the bag.

Potato blight outbreaks are occurring almost on a daily basis, with 80 in Scottish crops at the time of writing.  The appearance of aggressive and fluazinam insensitive strains in Scotland does not bode well for blight management for future potato cropping.

Photo: Martin Cooper, Flickr cc

Harvested Crops -Sept 2019

With a wetter than usual harvest this season, the risk of pests problems flaring up in stored grain in higher than usual, particularly if stores and associated machinery have not a good clean beforehand.  With many cereals being harvested at higher moisture contents than preferred, driers will be active this season, and grain needs to be 14% moisture content or less to prevent pests from breeding.  Read more here.

Photo: ADAS

Pests in Winter Wheat - Sept 2019

Wheat bulb flies will be laying eggs through to late September.  Growers are strongly advised to consider an assessment of egg numbers from early-September in fields planned for wheat, particularly in light of the unavailability of chlorpyrifos as an egg hatch treatment which only leaves a seed treatment as a control option.  Note that this season is the last chance to use fludioxonil + tefluthrin seed treatment, which can no longer be used after 31st August 2020.  Read more here.

Weeds in Winter Oil Seed Rape - Sept 2019

For crops not treated pre-emergence, there are a number of metazachlor-based herbicides that can be applied once the crop has two expanded cotyledons.  Generally speaking, formulated mixes are a better option post-emergence than straight metazachlor as they give root or shoot uptake rather than only the root uptake with straight metazachlor.  Read more here.

Blight Risk Update - Sept 2019

Unsurprisingly, there has been a surge in the number of late blight outbreaks across Scotland.  So far the Fight against Blight service has 80 reports of outbreaks in Scotland, this is a larger figure than the end of season totals for recent years.  Read more here.

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