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Wet Easter Adds to Work Backlog - Andy Goulding - Farmers Weekly

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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 is adding complexity to agronomy and opportunities have to be grabbed and priorities rethought.

T0 is days away on the most forward crops - will the ground be in a condition farmers are prepared to travel on? We all know little direct yield benefit can be had when targeting septoria at this timing. However, in the wet West, it can help in the event of a delayed Tl.

What we shouldn't forget are the other jobs we do at this time, growth regulation/manipulation, and trace element nutrition, which have great importance in building harvestable yield.

Few of us will be surprised by manganese cropping 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 and understood, the quicker we can act and rectify without too much work.

Oilseed rape 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 few 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.