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Pressure Mounts to Catch Up as Spring Finally Arrives - Ben Pledger - Farmers Weekly

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With the weather taking a turn for the better, crops will start to move through their growth stages rapidly.

In many situations, we'll be playing catch-up, sometimes tank mixing what we had planned to apply using separate passes.

Oilseed rape crops are now just starting to flower without having had any plant growth regulator (PGR) or fungicide applied in the spring.

Fortunately, disease levels in this area have been very low up to now, and I have felt relaxed about not having applied a fungicide spray already.

We find ourselves at the point where main stems are growing rapidly, needing a PGR to reduce apical dominance and promote side branching. Tebuconazole and trinexapac-ethyl will be used here.

On top of this, fungicide and trace elements will be applied, and, if thresholds are reached, an insecticide will be added for pollen beetle.

With the potential for large tank mixes, the compatibility of these need checking, especially where boron is being applied.

Where an insecticide is to be added for pollen beetle control, careful product choice is needed.

Pollen beetle resistance to pyrethroid insecticides should be taken into account, as well as the incompatibility of mixing certain insecticides with certain PGRs.

As well as all of this, these mixes may well be applied to flowering crops which will play host to bees. Please remember that lambda-cyhalothrin is no longer "bee safe" if mixed with an azole fungicide.

Hybrid winter barleys in places will have missed their first fungicide and are now at the true Tl timing.

There is also the potential to add herbicides to the Tl spray, either for broad-leaved weeds, wild oats, or both.

Please pay attention to the rules regarding sequencing and mixing sulfonylurea and hormone herbicides with pinoxaden.

With high diurnal temperature variation at the moment, increase water rates on more complex tank mixes to reduce stress on the crop.