Early April Crop Update

April 9, 2017 6:26 pm

With the weather spurring the crop on, I only got to enjoy a few quieter days at the end of March before I had to hit the ground running again in April. I managed to squeeze in a T0 fungicide and PGR application at the start of the month just before I whizzed off to Poland to help out with some follow-on trials of the new Mzuri Pro-Til precision drill. Upon my return, there was some serious catching up to do on the WOSR as I still had the final dose of fertiliser to put on. The rape started flowering during the last few days of March just before my Polish trip; when I got back a few days later, it looked like a sea of yellow and was up to my waistline. The crop is around three weeks early this year – normally I wouldn’t expect it to flower until the third week of April and I wouldn’t be looking to put fertiliser on until the end of month.

In fact, the rape has grown so quickly, I had to make linkage extensions for the fertiliser spreader to lift it up. Even with the tractor on larger diameter skinny wheels, the height wasn’t enough so I ended up lifting the spinner by an extra 300mm and tilting it forward to get the perfect spreading pattern.

We started drilling rape in last week of August and finished in the third week of September last year. It’s thickened out nicely and is looking extremely promising, particularly on one field which got badly battered by flea beetles within weeks of seeding. It just goes to prove that high seed rates in not everything. Ironically, I nearly gave up on that field and started again; I’m glad that I didn’t as it is looking to be one of my best fields this year. I’m sure that the extra light and the excellent soil structure have more made up for the flea beetle damage. I look forward to seeing how it yields compared to the other fields. It may just prove the theory that lower rates are the way to go!


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The crop is so advanced, we had to make linkage extensions for the spreader. Picture taken 8th April 2017.