There’s no wheat that’s more dynamic!
KWS SISKIN n
Group 2 breadmaker rated positive for
Excellent disease resistance with a high
Superb physical grain quality
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recorded in just one hour,” he said, pointing out that the intense rainfall washed available nitrogen down through the soil profile taking it beyond the reach of the crop’s rooting system. “I proved through leaf tissue testing that crops had a serious deficiency of nitrogen, despite the correct levels being applied that season, and it showed how vulnerable shallow rooting varieties are in heavy rainfall.” As a result, Andy says that yields were down in 2016 and out-grade greens were up due to soil ridges being washed away exposing tubers below. “I think the region suffered more than most last season and this determined the high level of wastage we saw in a year when yields were low. “It just goes to show that this job is never as straight forward as it might look. You can get everything else right but for the weather to come along and deal a serious blow.”
Crop storage A happier picture in East Anglia has been crop storage since harvest, thanks to dry lifting conditions in September, explained Andy. This was in stark contrast, however, to the west of the country which has had greater problems with keeping crop quality in store because of poor lifting conditions and late lifted crops. “When my growers had finished lifting locally, in october, there were growers in the west that hadn’t even started, leading to subsequent difficulties in store,” he said. “This is when achieving correct skin set on mature potatoes is so important as it offers tubers a natural protectant,” added Andy, hoping that as many growers as possible have updated their stores sufficiently to include active recirculation ahead of harvest later this year. “It’s an important year for crop storage, particularly in light of a reduction in the maximum permitted CIPC application dose of 36g ai/t for processing, and a
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one-off application of 24g ai/t for the fresh sector. “This is going to be quite challenging, considering some growers are storing through until June or July. The 36g ai/t figure for processing crops is half the amount it used to be! “Stores must be up to the job and active re-circulation of air is a critical part of ensuring accurate and effective CIPC application, as well as controlling the environment in the store. “I know there has been financial pressure on all farming businesses over the past few years but it’s not necessarily a case of having to spend a lot of money – adapting a store to accommodate active recirculation methods need not cost the earth,” stressed Andy. “We cannot afford to have a residue issues in stored crops and CIPC stewardship has done an amazing job in saving some chemicals for continued use by growers,” he concluded.
Early control Start early and stay vigilant to combat aggressive blight strains cycling at lower temperatures, growers are being advised by an agronomist in the South West. An early start to blight control programmes incorporating five to seven day spraying intervals, robust application rates and driving droplets into the crop canopy using the right nozzles, are all key to keeping blight under control according to Tiverton-based Matt Alford (left). Matt, a former sprayer operator for nine years prior to joining Agrii in 2008, is now in his ninth year as an agronomist and currently advises on a significant area of potatoes destined for the crisping and chipping markets between north Devon and Somerset. “The South West has its own set of unique challenges for growers with a wide variety of soil types and many smaller tree-lined fields that create microclimates for a more humid atmosphere which can encourage blight,” he explains. According to Matt, the key foundation in early season blight control is to get some cover on the ridges as soon as any green leaf continued over...
Farmers Guide Magazine May 2017 Issue