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Stackyard News Jun 07

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Late Growth Surge Puts Onus on Tip-Top OSR Desiccation

The resurgence in oilseed rape growth following the May and June rains combined with noticeably earlier overall maturity this season means growers across the country will have to look to their laurels in the coming few weeks if they are to minimise harvesting problems, warns ProCam technical agronomist, Nick Myers. Especially so since there has also been a major recent surge in late thistle and other weed growth.


“As well as very late crop and weed growth, we’re seeing even more unevenness in crop maturity than usual this season as a result of stem canker together with surprisingly high levels of sclerotinia infection in many cases,” he points out.

“Add this to the considerably larger acreages of the crop many growers have in the ground this year, not to mention generally thicker stems as a result of better canopy management, and harvesting could be particularly troublesome for those that fail to get their harvest management spot on.”

With East Anglian crops about a week ahead of normal, Nick Myers judges the majority will be ready for their Roundup in the coming week. What is more, he stresses that the late rains mean many are still looking quite green even though their pods are ripening fast. Combined with the uneven maturity within and between fields, this will put the onus firmly on close pod inspection to ensure optimum spray timing.

“Don’t wait for your crops to look the colour of a hare’s back from the gate before you go in with the sprayer,” Nick Myers insists. “Get out there, open up a representative sample of pods and see whether they’ve reached the correct stage of maturity.

“Otherwise you could easily find yourself getting well behind the crop and suffering the increased shedding problems inevitable with late harvesting as well as unnecessary delays in what is shaping-up to be a particularly chancy harvest.

“With weed problems as they are, it will pay to use Roundup Max at the 2 kg/ha perennial weed rather than ordinary 1.5 kg/ha desiccation rate,” he suggests. “It adds relatively little to the cost and will ensure you prevent troublesome weeds like thistles as well as thicker greener stems compromising harvesting efficiency, seed samples and crop storage.

“Given the thickness of many crop canopies I’d also strongly advise using 200-250 litres of water per hectare instead of just 100-150 litres and including include a water conditioner like Strada or XChange in the spray tank for greatest overall efficacy.

“Even though Roundup Max works a good two days faster than traditional glyphosates, you must leave the crop for the statutory 14 days before harvesting,” says Nick Myers.
Equally you should wait until the crop is completely desiccated before combining, which may be as long as 21 days if the weather is unfavourable.”

Roundup Max Desiccation Timing Check

  1. Pick a total of 20 pods at random from the middle of the main stem of a plant
    in the middle of the crop.
  2. If at least two thirds of the seeds in at least 15 of the pods are brown rather than
    green, the plant it at its earliest correct stage for spraying.
  3. Repeat this process in other areas of the crop to check the assessment applies
    across the field.
  4. If the majority of the crop has reached the correct stage, spray within four days.
    If there is any doubt, wait and check again four days later.

link Battalion Milling Wheat Leader Launched at Cereals 2007
link Catana Oilseed Rape Launched at Cereals 2007
link Crop Market Update

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