ADAS is reporting that April was mainly dry with below average rainfall which allowed good progress to be made with spring drilling in England, Scotland and Wales.
Almost all spring barley drilled in Great Britain and spring oats drilled by the end of the month.
The dry conditions affected spring crop germination and nitrogen uptake, although crop condition improved towards the end of the month. The cool nights during April checked crop growth, although crop growth stages remain around ‘normal’ for the time of year. Weed, pest and disease pressure was low, with dry conditions helping to reduce disease pressure.
According to ADAS, winter wheat crops are in good condition going into May, with typical crops having the second node detectable. Control of black-grass and broadleaved weeds was good where herbicides were well timed and there was sufficient soil moisture. Pest pressure was low, with little sign of wheat bulb fly or gout fly damage. Disease pressure was low with the dry conditions helping to reduce septoria tritici blotch severity.
Yellow rust levels remain low, although some symptoms were seen on susceptible varieties with fungicides applied for control where needed. Spring wheat crops were sown into well prepared seedbeds, with typical crops at early tillering. Dry soils restricted emergence of some crops, particularly those grown on light land.
Most winter barley crops look in good condition going into May.