The crop plots at Cereals are up and away and just awaiting spring weather to progress further – which should be just around the corner, according to weather station forecasting data.
The crop plots, at the new 60ha site at Thoresby Hall, Nottinghamshire, for the first time have dedicated weather stations keeping an eye on conditions on the ground. “Temperatures have been warmer, at around 14 degrees celsius, and not too much rain, which has been good for spraying activities,” says Mark Herriman, account executive at Sencrop, which provided the weather stations.
Weather stations can provide valuable data for understanding trends and planning spray applications on the plots. “The weather changes every year, and all of that information is accessible throughout the growing season, and after harvest we can look at what affected the growing capabilities,” says Mr Herriman.
The forecasting capability can help growers anticipate risks of pests and diseases which can be linked to weather, like powdery mildew. “The crop plots have a full suite of weather stations collecting data on rain, wind and solar – so rather than relying on information from a single source or a forecasting app, there is a full range of information specific to the trial plots,” he says.
According to Will Davies, farming consultant at Ceres Rural, the winter oilseed rape is fast approaching flowering and the netting, which protects the crop plots from birds over the winter, is being removed. “The plots are starting to stand up tall – the oilseed rape has received a Plant Growth Regulator (PGR) and fungicide and will be in flower shortly. Monitoring for Pollen Beetle is ongoing,” says Mr Davies.
The winter sown crops – winter wheat, winter oilseed rape, and winter beans – are developing well and approaching growth stage 30. “The cereals will receive a growth regulator and fungicide shortly,” says Mr Davies. “Rust pressure is low at present, but overwintered Septoria is present.”
And the crops certainly weren’t short of moisture through the winter. “Since the oilseed rape was planted it’s had 535ml of rain, which is interesting because we had 71ml in March and a very dry February,” says Mr Herriman.
Looking towards the spring crops, much of these have been drilled in good conditions, and with plenty of soil moisture. “These have all had their fertiliser where required, and the February-drilled plots are up in-row and will now progress quickly in the milder weather,” says Mr Davies.
Overall, the crops are progressing well. “The rain is starting to ease off, giving the ground a chance to dry out – hopefully we will get some nice spring weather with enough rain to promote growth,” says Mr Herriman.
This month (April) will bring the drilling of the final few crop plots, but much of the month will be given to final fertiliser applications and getting herbicides, PGRs and fungicides applied at the appropriate timings for the different crop types.
- The two-day event is being held at a new site this year – Thoresby Estate in Nottinghamshire – on 13-14 June. www.cerealsevent.co.uk.
Sencrop is an innovative ag-tech company based at Euratechnologies in France. Founded in 2016 by Michael Bruniaux and Martin Ducroquet, it became the European leader in five years. Sencrop has the biggest ag-weather network of stations in Europe with more than 20,000 growers connected to its solution, and counts on 100 dedicated farmer-servicing members in its European offices, including a team based in the UK. In 2022 the firm raised US$18 million in a Series B financing round led by JVP, a global player in the financing and expansion of ag-tech startups. It is also a member of the Hardware Club. www.sencrop.com
The Cereals Event is the leading technical event for the UK arable industry, with live demonstrations and areas dedicated to agronomy, technology, machinery, business, education, environment and renewable energy. Sister event to Fruit Focus & SIMA, over 350 leading suppliers exhibit at Cereals with the very latest products, advice and information. It provides visitors with a complete one-stop service from seeds to sprayers, crop varieties to cultivation equipment, and fertiliser to finance.
Olivia Cooper: 01392 840009