Dr Simon Pope: Autumn agronomy update

With winter upon us Dr Simon Pope, Wynnstay Crop Protection Manager, provides an update on how crops in the west are establishing, and any pest or diseases growers should be looking out for.


Cereals and OSR drilled in the west went into the ground in very good conditions, and in some cases, early in the season. We’ve had rainfall at the right time, which has meant crops have established well, so now growers need to ensure crops are protected over the winter period to make the most of the good start.


Most cereals that have been drilled have also been treated with a pre-emergence herbicide, and as the conditions have been favourable for it to do a good job, weed control has been exceptionally good in many cases.

One thing for growers to keep in mind, is the risk of aphids transmitting BYDV to crops grown from seed which were not Deter treated. Early sown cereals should already have received an aphicide if Deter wasn’t used, and even if Deter was applied, depending on the sowing date and seed rate used, the effect of this seed treatment on BYDV transmission by aphids may now be reducing.

Usually at this time of year the cold weather puts paid to aphid activity, but a mild winter such as the one experienced last season allows aphids to continue to be active and as a result there was more BYDV evident in this spring. If mild weather were to prevail, further applications of insecticide could receive consideration.


Recent weather conditions have resulted in high levels of phoma leaf spot, and light leaf spot is just starting to appear. This is typical of the time of year, but the recent wet weather has initiated an increase in the disease spread.

If crops haven’t had a fungicide treatment, growers should consider applying one for both phoma and light leaf spot now, to protect the crop over the winter before the next course of treatments in February/March, otherwise it’s a long time for the crop to go untreated.


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