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Winter Wheat....Last Chance!

There are many factors involved in the process of creating yield in a winter sown wheat crop.


Two of these are available light energy and water; notably during June but also running into July. Most commonly it is light followed by water. What can we do about this?


Well as far as sunshine is concerned – very little. The Sun shines by turning hydrogen into helium in its core; the process of nuclear fusion. Albert Einstein proposed his famous equation E=mc2 around this particular point.


As for water, it is a question about root development and in particular how deep these roots go. An increase in rooting depth of 150 mm could provide an extra 25mm of water, sufficient to support an extra 0.5 t/ha of grain.


Light capture depends mainly on green canopy longevity. Each five days extra of full light capture by a green canopy should be associated with 0.5 t/ha of extra grain yield.


Each season we spend time and money applying fungicides to increase this green leaf area longevity. The “ear fungicide” is now upon us as is the threat of rain this weekend.


Photographs

Yellow Rust in Skyfall – miss by the gate

Yellow Rust in Skyfall – lower leaf

Appropriate fungicide programme

Appropriate fungicide programme

Septoria in the base of the crop

The use of cereal blends to combat cereal disease.