1 January - Botrytis & planning

Botrytis Keep ventilating protected structures especially on damp, still days. Control infections using Rovral WG (EAMUs required). Direct all sprays at the base of affected plants and include a wetting agent for good penetration.

Planning Ensure Replant disease is not an issue when planning where to put stock in fields that are going to be used in a rotation.

Azalea gall This disease can emerge from January onwards when the air is damp and cold around tight foliage on evergreen crops. Improve air flow and apply a preventative fungicide such as Bravo 500 (EAMU 2011-1130).

Cold stores Check temperature and humidity levels which can fluctuate on changeable days. It is worth spraying stored material with Rovral WG (EAMUs required) as a protectant against fungal growth.

Conifers Once Piceas are dormant, consider applying Roundup over them to control any persistent perennial weeds that emerged last season.

Damping-off Check seedling material and apply products as required such as Basilex, Prestop (EAMU 2015-2773), Previcur Energy (EAMU 2011-1557), Proplant (EAMUs required) or Subdue.

Feeds On older crops, check compost and water conductivity now and then again in March to check nutrient availability. Plants may need a top dressing or liquid feed boost going into the spring months depending on the type of slow release fertiliser used in composts. Include supplementary feeding of plants that show deficiencies of iron, magnesium, nitrogen or calcium. Slow-release products such as Osmocote Top-Dress and Floranid Permanent will avoid leaf scorch issues.

Health and Safety Check your Health and Safety Policy statement now for all the hazards on your site and update it to include any new equipment or procedures introduced last season. Check out the latest advice on staff wearing gloves when re-entering a crop that has recently been sprayed.

Pests Check crops for aphids on sunny days especially Picea pungens and Cupressus leylandii. Check also protected evergreen crops. Control using short-term products such as Majestik, Pyrethrum 5EC or SB Plant Invigorator if using predators this season. Synthetic pyrethroids such as Decis, Hallmark WZT (2008-2944) or Toppel 100 should only be used if there is no IPM system in place to avoid predator establishment issues this spring.

Mice This damage can be evident through the cold months on protected crops. Mice tend to leave slithers of uneaten stem at the base of the damaged area. Control with bait stations or traps.

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