iOSR Focus Site experiences growers’ establishment issues
Flea beetle pressure has been taking its toll on the new Syngenta iOSR Focus Site, at Rougham in Suffolk.
Earlier drilled oilseed rape crops appeared to have got going and escaped the worst of the damage from the pests’ feeding activity. But, as with many growers’ crops, the later drilled crops have suffered severe shot-holing damage to establishing seedlings, reports Field Technical Manager, Georgie Wood.
“Warm, bright sunny days have been favourable for insect pest activity, whilst the dry oils have limited the small seedlings’ ability to recover and grow away from damage,” she highlighted.
“Like many growers, we are waiting to see just how much of a crop has got itself established."
Georgie remains optimistic that with some welcome rainfall, whilst soils are still warm, the trials could yet see a welcome recovery.
The difficult establishment season has created a severe testbed for many of the techniques that are being trialled on the iOSR Focus Site, including:
- Cultivation and drilling techniques
- Seedbed fertiliser placement
- Seed treatments
- Variety screening
- Phoma monitoring
- Cover crops – including clover and mustard
Furthermore, variety trials comparing tall and short varieties are planned to evaluate PGR and canopy management agronomy techniques throughout the season.