Thursday, 18 November 2010

Ukraine autumn agronomy report - wheat

A couple of weeks of unseasonably mild weather has done wonders to the later sown and late emerged plants and allowed a lot of land work to be completed before the onset of winter.

Early sown wheat is now at G.S.14-15 / 21-23 with the latest sown crop at G.S.11-12.

Emergence has been good in the warm soils with up to 80% not uncommon.

Wheat plant populations in Ukraine is a hotly debated topic (well it is by me) and I will come back to this one at a later date but the aim is to achieve 450 to 500ppm2 because tillering is a bit of a problem.

Weed control is good with charlock (Sinapis arvensis) and runch (Raphanus raphanistrum) very obvious because of their size but will die out over the winter.

Plenty of volunteer rape highlighting high levels of seed loss as the rape plant very quickly matured back in the heat of the summer. Those that survive the winter will be quickly disposed of with a sniff of sulfonylurea if populations dictate.

Mix of various broad leaved weeds but at low populations, very small (cotyledon) and where we have used pendamethlin taking a hit so not expecting to see them come the snow melt.

Various thistles species continue to be problematic but in patches and rarely enough to justify spraying a complete field. When we introduce GPS technology we might map these and apply clopyralid if we can get hold of it.

I have seen some discoloured and stunted patches which I think might be early symptoms of BYDV which would fit in with the weather as there are aphids about in the crop. It could also be soil viruses, something I have been looking at in detail this year and will come back to over the winter.

Low levels (less than 5%) of a wheat bulb fly type larvae taking out tillers. I normally find these in wheat unlike my Ukrainian agronomists who consistently fail to spot them along with pretty much everything else but then again they are pretty difficult to see from the road.

Control options are a bit nuclear and not particularly effective so we will leave the little buggers for the time being, they will be something to target in the years to come as we start pushing yields up.

Summary as wheat goes in to the winter - good to excellent.