2012 has certainly been a year to test those farmers and contractors growing game cover up and down the country. The heavy rain has washed away much of the Nitrogen and in many cases poor rooting has prevented crops from finding enough nutrition for growth. On top of this the slug attacks have been constant and this combined with the Flea Beetle problems and relentless poor weather has made it a drilling and establishment season to forget.
However the weather has now improved at least in some areas and Maize and Brassica crops are moving at last.
Here are a few tips to help produce a decent â€œfinal cropâ€ able to hold and/or drive birds out of:
- Just because the crop is now getting away, donâ€™t let up on the slugs. Apply more slug pellets even now if needed
- If your crop is still very backward now and weeds are swamping it, take the decision now and spray off with glyphosate, leave for 24hrs before cultivating and drilling a catch crop.
- If the original crop is patchy, rake in some seed broadcast with slug pellets and some nitrogen fertilizer
- If adjoining cereal growing land can be left in stubble then consider broadcasting a late season catch crop into the standing crop a week or so before harvest. If this is not possible then request that the stubble be left high when cutting (unlikely with barley due to the value of straw) the crop.