Being an important time for Wheat, we applied our flag leaf spray on out conventional varieties on Sunday 18th, half the fields covered in the morning and half in the evening. It seems that the best spray days have a funny habit of falling on a weekend, but being such a key component of the yield, it’s worth the effort to avoid the heat of the day and achieve the best coverage.
Our Hybrid Wheats are continuing to surprise and impress, with five different varieties in total, each with different traits. They are all early developing when compared to our conventional varieties Graham and Costello, however I was taken by surprise when the Hyking and Hynvictus varieties displayed their flag leaf in early May with the ear fully emerged by the middle of the month. Having a Wheat that allows us to drill the WOSR earlier, with the potential to deliver a greater margin over Winter Barley makes for an interesting prospect indeed.
With our Oilseed Rape crop establishment even across the field thanks to the consistent seeding depth of the Pro-Til’s independent coulters, the crop goes on to flower evenly too. This has the benefit of shortening the flowering window and our OSR typically only requires one Sclerotinia spray which was applied in late April. With all our passes through the OSR complete, it’s now just a waiting game through to harvest.
The middle of May saw a welcome inch of rain fall on the farm which helped swell the seeds. Although a famously deceptive crop, both pod length and canopies look promising, especially if the weather pattern of steady rain and sun continues – I will certainly look forward to seeing if the combine reflects this.
During our Spring Open days there were many positive comments made about our crop of Hybrid DK Expedient OSR, which has been billiard table level from corner to corner, crammed with pods – the most even crop many had seen in a long time!
This month our crop of spring Wheat received its first fungicide, along with a PGR in mid-May. We’ve seen some impressive tillering from this crop which has been supported by retaining moisture at sowing and now with regular rainfall, the crop is showing real promise. Having the Hybrid Wheats on site has proven to be useful in sharpening my crop development monitoring which has given dividends as the Spring Wheat moves rapidly through its growth stages.
Maize sown during the open days received it pre-emergence herbicide the following day along with the remaining fertiliser. We’ve got all of our fingers crossed now for some rain both for the efficacy of the herbicide and to wash the fertiliser in. Last year compound could still be found on the surface six weeks after application – not a sight I want to see repeated.
Towards the second half of the month I applied an early flowering fungicide on our February drilled beans, in combination with foliar micronutrients. The crop has been a real pleasure – visually, as it fills with flowers, to the ears with bees humming away as they relish the pollen, to the nose when you catch the odd plant in the tramline. It’s certainly not a bad office that we get to work in!