Serving the Farming Industry across East Anglia for 35 Years
Demonstration plots of winter and spring crop varieties are progressing well at this year's Cereals site on the Thoresby Estate in Nottinghamshire. Crop plots progressing well at Cereals

Demonstration plots of winter and spring crop varieties are progressing well at this year’s Cereals site on the Thoresby Estate in Nottinghamshire.

“Temperatures have been warmer, at around 14 degrees celsius, and not too much rain, which has been good for spraying,” says Mark Herriman, of Sencrop, which provided the weather stations.

Rain and shine

The crop plots have a full suite of weather stations collecting data on rain, wind and sunshine – 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.

Netting to protect winter oilseed rape from birds over winter has been removed following flowering, says Will Davies, farm consultant at Ceres Rural, who is overseeing the plots.

“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. Approaching growth stage 30 last month, the cereals were due to receive a growth regulator and fungicide.

Rust pressure was reported to be low, but some overwintered Septoria was present.

Good conditions

Crops certainly weren’t short of moisture through the winter,”says Mr Herriman.

“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.

Looking towards the spring crops, much of these were 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.

Last month saw the drilling of the final few crop plots, but much of April was given be given to final fertiliser applications and getting herbicides, PGRs and fungicides applied at the appropriate timings for the different crop types.