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
“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
“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
“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
Roundup Max Desiccation Timing Check
- Pick a total of 20 pods at random from the middle of the main
stem of a plant
in the middle of the crop.
- 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.
this process in other areas of the crop to check the assessment
across the field.
- 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.
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