Crop Watch - Spud Special: 23rd June 2017

Article taken from Farmers Weekly, 23rd June, written by agronomist Andy Stevens.

 

On 4 June we were reflecting on a straightforward planting season for tatties having just been completed, with crops emerging and early growers contemplating the first applications of irrigation to forward crops.

We're now sitting with 133mm of rain for June to date - the same as we've had in the previous four months. 

Headlands and gullies have been scoured with runoff and several burns have broken their banks and taken a path across a crop. 

At least damaged areas can be discounted now and there are no difficult decisions to make at harvest.

Late emerging crops have been checked with herbicides that were being applied only when sprayers could travel. Blight and aphicide programmes have been delayed. Blight pressure has been varied by location but there have been Hutton period warnings coming through, and getting those early applications of fungicide onto crops has been a priority.

Equally important has been the need to deal with aphids, particularly the peach potato aphid, which has arrived early and in record numbers after a mild winter. 

This has meant using resistance breaking chemistry such as pymetrozine from the start of programmes on seed. If populations don't crash it could be a long battle against aphids over the summer. 

 

04 July 2017

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