WhoshouldIsee Tracks

News From The Field - Winter Linseed 2021 / 2022

January / February 2022

There have been no recorded crop losses this winter despite some significant frost events (-7.5 °C recorded near Winchester) - See Sencrop data below.

Sencrop weather data Hambledon December to February 2022

Interestingly, this is significantly colder than that recorded last year at the same site (-4 °C). This demonstrates that it is not the “absolute” cold that affects crops, but the “desiccating effect” of  the added wind.

The mild autumn has meant crops are looking well. Crops are well rooted and should be benefiting soil structure already with their root systems 

Crop rooting 2 febuary 1   Crop rooting Febuary

Images: Variety - Alpaga rooting well in Derbyshire

Pigeons have been moving into winter linseed crops in the new year. Put out deterrents to move them on. Winter Linseed will branch back to compensate for pigeon grazing, but it is best not to let them settle

Pigeon Damage on Winter Linseed

Image: Winter linseed plant showing signs of pigeon grazing, with new buds emerging.

Some broad leaf weeds (BLW) are now coming through which will be dealt with in the spring. Typically volunteer Oilseed rape, Runch, charlock and groundsel are first out the blocks heading into the spring. Due to the loss of Bromoxynil the remaining BLW chemistry relies on SU chemistry- metsufluron-methyl and amidosulfuron. Where grass weeds are present these should be a priority, if not used already Centurion max EAMU is until stem extension. For other grass weeds, fop and dims exist e.g. Falcon, Fusilade, Laser etc. Nitrogen should only be applied where crops are starting to grow out of winter. A maximum of 50kg/ha is all that is needed to wake the crop out of winter, as the first split.


November / December 2021

November has been a very mild month generally and crops have grown on well and now generally 5-7cm tall. Blackgrass is now obvious in the field and hopefully has been sprayed with Centurion Max. Fungicide applications should be made mid-November onwards as crop growth starts to slow.

Alpaga in Nottinghamshire Nov 21

The end of November has turned suddenly cold and has even snowed, with this cold weather Crawler applications should now be made as soon as equipment can travel. Remember crops need to be healthy for Crawler applications, typically around 7cm tall and well rooted and branched. Linseed typically puts out branches or tillers in pairs over autumn. Four branches is a sign of a healthy plant and also indicates sowing date. As you can see in the picture below the second set of branches are emerging at the base of the first set of branches.

Attila Winter Linseed putting out a second set of branches Nov 21


October / November 2021

October has mercifully allowed completion of jobs which the last two seasons have made difficult. Grass weed control should be completed/ well on the way. Crops have started to grow on into the second half of October and are now around 4cm tall and starting to branch. Some later drilled crops, drilled at the start of October are putting out true leaves.

Alpaga in Nottinghamshire Oct 21

Earlier drilled crops are showing signs of disease, and a protective fungicide, normally Difeconazole, should be applied in November to stop disease spread up plant canopies. The disease is Kabitella Lincola which is a phoma like disease. Symptoms are discoloured cotyledons with grey lesions containing black pycnidia 

Kabatiella linicola on cotyledons of winter linseed

Grass weed control should ideally be completed by November, Blackgrass seems to have germinated in the second half of October and are now about the right size for herbicides. For volunteer cereals there are Falcon and Fusilade type products, for Blackgrass Centurion max is approved on EAMU and where there is rye-grass Crawler is approved for this season on EAMU. The image below illustrates what happens when an application of Fusilade misses a patch of barley volunteers....

Spray 'miss' of Fusilade on barley volunteers



September / October 2021

Rain arrived in October to get pre-em herbicide and crops going. Crops are starting to emerge and some are putting out true leaves now. With the rain the volunteer cereals and blackgrass have germinated and will now need controlling. There are many fop and dim herbicide approved for control of volunteer cereals, only use a low rate. For blackgrass Centurion max is the preferred herbicide once crops are 2.5cm high.

Winter Linseed variety Alpaga cotyledons emerging in Norfolk

Fungicides and Crawler do not need to be considered until November. Fungicides are applied to protect crops from disease over the winter, applying too early means new growth is not protected. Crawler should only be applied to crops that have had a frost on them to slow crop growth.