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Grassweed series: Stubble management for grassweed control

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Last month we published the first in our series of blogs on grassweed management, looking specifically at black-grass, its characteristics and the strategies to take pre-harvest. You can read the blog here.

As with management before harvest, efforts to control grassweeds are crucial post-harvest too. Cultivation strategies during this time can have a significant impact on the overall grassweed burden for the following crop, but it is important to understand the biology of the individual species in order to use cultural options to the best effect. 

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Potatoes - Meeting nutrition demands

Potato nutrition demand

Potatoes are not unique in this respect, but virtually all of their macro-nutrients applications are made before the crop is planted and well before the peak uptake of nutrients that happens 60-75 days after emergence. This, coupled with the plant's naturally poor inherent ability for rooting, means that efficient uptake of nutrients is always challenging.

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Give maize crops the best chance

maize

With maize establishing well across the country now, attention is turning to the management of the crop during the crucial early stages.

The crop itself originated in sub-tropical regions, so it is a plant which loves conditions that tend to be warmer than the average UK spring. As a result, it is not uncommon for maize to show nutrient deficiencies, or for its growth to slow if temperatures are relatively cool.

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The value of a sound crop protection program

winter-wheat

​Over the past decade, we have seen many new fungicide actives tested and have also lost many others from the store as they are revoked.​

As growers start to look closely at fungicide programs for their winter wheat crops, it is interesting to look into the yield trends generated in Frontier's 3D Thinking trials to see where the contribution to overall yield will come from during the growing season.

The 3D Thinking program has always studied fungicides, their effect on yield and how to maximise the value gained from them.

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Ramularia leaf spot in barley – life after chlorothalonil

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Ramularia causes leaf spot symptoms in barley. While it has typically been more of an issue in the north of the UK, it is now being reported with increasing frequency further south. The disease has historically been a bigger issue in spring barley but the economic losses in winter barley are now an increasing problem too.

The disease has a complicated life cycle and is seed, air and trash-borne. The fungus, Ramularia collo-cygni, causes ramularia and grows from infected seed. It then moves systemically within new plant growth. Airborne spores produced on trash and crop debris can also infect plants.

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Ensure T1 sprays hit the target

winter-wheat

Disease control this season could be more challenging than normal, given the range of crops that are in the ground. We have everything from early-September-sown crops to varieties such as Skyfall which were still being drilled in early-March. 

Variety and drilling date can have a significant impact on the speed at which a crop develops; in particular the time taken to reach BBCH 31.

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Changing times in potato seed treatments

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Last autumn saw the withdrawal of Monceren DS, a powder potato seed treatment containing pencycuron. Many growers have relied on Monceren to control the pathogen Rhizoctonia solani. Left untreated, this pathogen can cause crop-damaging symptoms such black scurf.

Despite the withdrawal of this specific product, the outlook is still good and includes a number of effective specialist liquid treatments. Many of the growers we advise have been moving away from powder treatments anyway with growers reporting concerns about powder formulations on belt planters where it can be difficult to get the dust formulation to stick and retain on tubers. 

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OSR - The final nutrition decision

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It has been somewhat of a harrowing year for the OSR crop, with wide spread establishment issues followed by flea beetle larval damage leading to a number of crops unfortunately being ripped up.The remaining crops have gone on to endure some late frosts during flowering but, thanks to recent rainfall and warm weather, the good crops are now coming ...
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New Year's resolutions

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This blog was first featured as an article in the December issue of Three Counties Farmer : ​ By my own admission, I don't have the best track record of sticking to New Year's resolutions. Whilst they are (in theory) usually easy to achieve, they aren't necessarily life changing and it would be a fairly safe bet to say that, by April, I'll have bro...
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DISCOVERING ICEBERGS at Frontier’s NRoSO sprayer operator days

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Our ever-popular sprayer operator days will soon be upon us. As well as a great lunch and sufficient NRoSO points to ensure status on the register is secured, the events give farmers and sprayer operators valuable insight into current industry issues and the chance to discuss guidelines and best practice recommendations. Conversations are always to...
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Potato desiccation decisions

Frontier-Ingham-3.8.15-0568
As is the case with most opening lines of conversation at the moment, I'm starting this blog with talk of the unprecedented weather we've had. The summer of 2018 will certainly be one to remember, with exceptionally dry conditions hampering the growing season. Across the UK, farmers and growers have been under significant pressure to manage irrigat...
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After late drilling, how should you best manage your maize?

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​After the long, cold winter that we all experienced in the early part of 2018, many maize crops were drilled into relatively cold seedbeds at the end of April. Looking back to the May Day bank holiday however, we had some unseasonably high temperatures which then set the scene for the remainder of the month – even leading to some records being bro...
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How to best protect your investment at T3 in winter wheat

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In spite of turbulent weather this spring most crops are looking reasonably clean. The focus now turns to protecting the investment made to date and ensuring crops fulfil their full potential, both in-terms of yield and quality. The true fusarium risk this season is still to evolve and will very much depend on the weather conditions in the next cou...
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What can you do to minimise erucic acid levels in oilseed rape?

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Oilseed rape remains one of the most profitable break crops and has a key role to play in the rotation. This is particularly true where there is a black-grass issue due to the ability to use non-resistant chemistry. However, increasing levels of erucic acid are proving problematic. Oilseed rape is an expensive crop to grow so any rejections due to ...
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N-protect: Safeguard your liquid fertiliser from losses

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After an extremely cold and wet period across March and early April, it's good to finally see some warm and dry weather. In fact, we had the warmest April day for nearly 70 years, so the change in forecast has been quite remarkable to say the least. This has been great for crop growth and has allowed significant amounts of spring crops to be drille...
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Review your application plans for grassland

Standing-Grass-Fieldcropped
​I doubt it comes as much of a surprise that, as with our arable crops , the severe weather of late has significantly delayed nitrogen applications to grassland too. While we did have a bit of a break from the constant rainfall, unfortunately the sun didn't get chance to offer much solace before the heavens opened again.  While the weather is ...
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Does water quality really influence pesticide performance?

spraying
While everyone understands the chemical disposition of water as H 2 O, it actually contains an abundance of ions such as sodium, potassium, chloride, sulphate, calcium, iron, magnesium and carbonates. Those which are 'positively charged' are identified as cations and those which are 'negative' are known as anions. These ions are present in the wate...
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#FrontierWest - Discovering and managing yellow rust

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Although the 'beast from the east' has now left us, it certainly made an impact in Herefordshire by bringing with it a blanket of snow and -5 temperatures, not least with the chaos it caused across the country. Because of this, it's not surprising that input discussions and fertiliser recommendations were put on hold. However, ahead of the storm we...
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#3DThinking - Spring barley

springbarley
As you may already know, over the last couple of months we've been speaking to growers up and down the country as part of our series of #3DThinking seminars.  We've seen a great turnout and the seminars give us a really good opportunity to talk about our trials progress and the discoveries made so far. In particular, I've been sharing our find...
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#FrontierWest - Long term grain storage and calculating tonnage

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We are now over half way through the marketing year, with harvest '18 in our sights. I am based out of our Ross-on-Wye Frontier office, farm trading in the West and with our grain markets still at relatively static levels this has sparked more focus for long holders to start securing end markets for old crop grain. Many growers across the three cou...
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