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East Anglia: Second wheat remains firm fixture in region’s rotations, survey finds

16:00 13 July 2014

A second wheat crop

A second wheat crop

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Second wheat looks like remaining a firm fixture in most East Anglian rotations despite the impending three crop rule being brought in as part of Common Agricultural Policy reform measures, escalating grass weed problems and weaker crop markets, according to the latest National Second Wheat Management study.

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Susan Mintern of MonsantoSusan Mintern of Monsanto

A telephone survey of more than 100 East Anglian and East Midlands farmers, commissioned by seeds and agrochemical firm Monsanto this spring, revealed that 85% are intending to plant second wheat this autumn.

This is slightly down on the 87% with the crop currently in the ground but markedly up on the 80% growing it in the difficult 2012/13 season. There appears to be no significant change in the area of the crop being planned.

The majority of growers saw the three crop rule as having very little impact on their cropping plans, and they are continuing to focus on doing everything possible to maximise second wheat performance.

“The fact that 50% of growers now see a yield gap of less than 1 tonne/ha between their first and second wheats – against less than 40% in our 2009 study – suggests management improvements have being paying dividends,” said study co-ordinator, Susan Mintern of Monsanto Crop Protection.

“Indeed, more than a quarter are recording yield gaps of less than 0.5 tonne/ha these days compared to just 8% five years ago. And almost 10% find the performance of their second wheats is now on a par with their first wheats.”

Concerns over grass weed – especially blackgrass – control have escalated in recent years so that it now ranks alongside take-all among the top three challenges facing East Anglia second wheat growers, with foliar disease control remaining very much in third place.

Selecting good second wheat varieties, using a take-all seed treatment and preparing better seedbeds were the key management techniques being employed to address these challenges, with applying earlier spring nitrogen and delaying drilling also practised by 70% or more.

“The same five second wheat management priorities were identified by growers in our previous 2009 and 2011 studies,” said Susan.

The 2014 study reveals take-all seed treatment has become standard for more than two thirds of East Anglian growers, with the vast majority treating all their seed.

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The Desert Rats, more formally known as 7 Infantry Brigade and Headquarters East, will march onto the parade square on Thursday, 30th July to formally recognise reaching Full Operating Capability.

Over 130 soldiers representing the Brigades six units will be on parade in front of an audience of invited guests and dignitaries. The parade will include a Drum Head Service that will be led by the Reverend Philip Bosher, the Brigade Senior Chaplain.  

He will be joined by the Chaplains of the Regiments and Civilian Chaplains to the Military representing four of the worlds faiths. These include: Hindu Chaplain Acharya Krishan Kant Attri, Jewish Chaplain Rabbi Reuven Livingstone, Muslim Chaplain Imman Ali Omar and Sikh Chaplain Mandeep Kaur.

The parade will see an altar created from drums to replicate services held on the front line during World War One. The Brigade Commander will inspect the parade following the service. Music will be provided by the Band of the Royal Armoured Corps.


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