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Growers Count Cost of Drought and Blackgrass - Andy Goulding - Farmers Weekly

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With only 28mm of rain in May and 6mm in June (at the time of writing) there are many combinable crops now starting to wither away.  With a heatwave forecast there are likely to be many more casualties, especially those crops with shallower roots.

Many spring cereals have been under such stress they have skipped tillering with producing offspring as the only goal.  Soil texture differences within field are now obvious to spot with the sandier patches going off to a line.

We now lie in hope the forecast will change and crops will have some rain to help fill what grain sites are there.  This year seems one of those extremely rare occasions where the East’s weather has swapped with the West’s.

With no rain to wash granular fertiliser in, there have been many applications of amine nitrogen as a foliar spray.  This is finding a firm place as a genuine part of a nutrition programme with its far superior, simple and safe uptake and excellent tank mix-ability.

Potato pressure

Blight pressure is low and, as such, there is no requirement for curative products or tight intervals at present.  The problem we’ve faced, however, has been weed control.  Even timed to the most favourable of application windows we have still had problems.

Cloddy seed-beds from a wet spring and bone dry ridges has led to the word Titus (rimsulfuron) cropping up all across town.  This is the last thing we want tin current conditions in late-planted crops, but where not applied, I have heard of some particularly weedy scenarios competing hard with the crop

Maize crops also are a mixed bag.  Some are about to close over the rows, which make her bicide timing difficult.  In other crops that are struggling, you can still walk between the rows without too much resistance from brushing your legs on the leaves.

There have been many purpled and yellowed crops as they have struggled to extract nutrition from the soil so there has been plenty of foliar intervention including nutrition and biostimulants to help them on their delayed flight from the ground.