Date: 02/2023

As I write this trial update it almost seems spring has arrived the sun is shining and although cold, field conditions are good with an opportunity to travel on many fields, first nitrogen applications are going on the trials both OSR and cereals whilst soil conditions allow.

Soil min N samples taken a couple of weeks ago show residual N of around 50kgs for both crops, although with the big biomass in the OSR even after the frosts the estimated N in the crop is unsurprisingly much higher.

Both Trial areas have trials looking at NUE on different varieties and these have been missed with the field application and will receive the different rates of N soon, within these trials there are plots with zero N which should be interesting particularly in the OSR.

CSFB larvae assessments continue but numbers look to be low even with scaring on the leaf stalks and evidence of larvae having been in the plants although numbers of adult beetles were lower in the autumn one theory is any larvae in the plants have been affected by the frosts.

The odd new phoma lesion seems to be appearing on leaves although this is less of an issue this time of year as yet there are no signs of the LLS infection in the variety trial but leaves have been sent away to test for infection within the leaf but not yet visible, however an early stem extension fungicide will be applied shortly. One difference particularly noticeable in the last few weeks is the purpling of leaves in some OSR varieties indicating TuYV infection, tests will confirm this shortly.

Winter wheat varieties have noticeable differences in early growth despite the cold growing conditions of late, disease levels remain low but septoria can be easily found on the lower older leaves of susceptible varieties, and compared to varieties with good resistance even now it’s plain to see a difference.

Some November drilled variety blocks are also showing some good visual difference and clearly show the benefits of variety choice, with varieties with early vigour and quick growth standing out.