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  • Writer's picturePhilip

Looks like I was wrong….

I thought a few farmers would drill their Oil Seed Rape crops sometime from the 8th of August.

I was travelling too and from a meeting the other day when several fields caught my eye. I stopped to consider more carefully what had peaked my interest. From what I could see there were 8 fields which were drilled to OSR each with a slightly different story to tell.

The OSR crop with the largest green area index had plants at the 3 true leaf stage. So with my mind working backwards. With a growth rate of 1 new leaf each week and it being the 19th August; that means this crop must have gone in the ground at the end of July.

Looking only from the road you could of course be quite envious. Strong plants in perfect rows. Little cabbage stem flea beetle adult feeding damage and one thing less to worry about with the inevitable demanding autumn workload.

However a few other thoughts.

What about adult feeding in another 10 days time. Crop should be strong enough to withstand this; no problem. However according to the ADAS 2020 AHDB funded project the larvae per plant is going to be at the highest level possible. You may have a crop but NOT the yield you were banking on come harvest 2022.

Charlock 1 per m2 that means Bifenox “now” and then a second application later.

Mayweed – A contact broad leaf weed herbicide to go on before too soon or the size of weed will mean inconsistent control.

What are we going to do about Peach Potato aphid control or does this crop have resistance to virus?

Blackgrass. A contact graminicide is now going to have to go on. Better get the sequencing correct. That also means an early calendar date for the propyzamide or the survivors are going to be too large for consistent control to be achieved.

I did wonder about all those newly applied slug pellets? Surely this crop has passed the main slug risk period?

Did I mention Club root? “The disease has shown an alarming increase in OSR in the UK over the last two years, probable due to earlier drilling into warm, wet soils.” Anon – Scottish Colleges.


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