Crops are leaping forward in the growthy weather and new crop has being going in at pace. The spring barley drilled first is coming through well and the last of it is now going in to drier conditions. Whisper it, but a few places would actually like a little bit of moisture!
Disease levels in winter crops are still lower than a year ago – mildew for example has not enjoyed the wet, cold winter and reports of yellow rust are still rare, although it is now creeping up through the Borders. But at the levels seen the planned T1 sprays will hold it.
Pest activity is beginning to increase, with pollen beetles flying into crops and the occasional aphid seen on cereals. Warmer weather will only ramp up their movement and damage so crops should be checked regularly.
The latest news on the future of the neonicotinoid insecticides confirms that they are likely to go as a group by the end of 2018, so we will continue to keep you updated on likely impacts and alternatives once the picture becomes clearer.