Downy mildew Weather is still suitable for downy mildew to spread on protected crops. Effective products include Amistar (EoA 2009-0443), Aliette 80WG, Filex/Proplant, Fubol Gold WG (EoA 2010-2567), Previcur Energy (EoA required), Paraat (EoA 2011-2067), Revus (EoA 2008-2867), Stroby WG, Subdue or Valbon (EoA required). Liquid feeding with potassium phosphite products can improve plant resistance to downy mildew.
Water records Fill in and submit your water abstraction records as soon as possible after the end of this month - details can be filled in online using the Environment Agency's GOR system once you have registered.
Rats and mice Rats dig into pots and remove compost. Mice strip bark off lower stems and leave it at the site of chewing. Control in tunnels is important for staff and plants. Change your rat bait active ingredient at each delivery to prevent the build-up of resistance. Make sure that the code of practice is followed to avoid poisoning non-target creatures such as birds of prey.
Ventilation Make sure that fans are all running now in tunnels and glasshouses with cool, damp days. Open tunnel doors when possible to keep air flow moving around foliage. If Botrytis is seen, apply Amistar (EoA 2009-0443), Octave, Rovral WG, Serenade ASO (EoA 2009-0246), Signum (EoA 2009-1842) or Switch. Adding in a wetting agent to these products (apart from Amistar) will aid foliage adherence.
Herbicides Fields with large soil clods that have herbicides applied to them will produce gaps in control because these clods breakdown over the winter. Apply herbicides to soils that are fine and crumbly for successful control.
Rainfall Maintain irrigation on some crops with the sporadic rainfall that can occur this month. Make sure that outdoor irrigation systems are switched off with heavy downpours. With cooler nights and shorter days, mist units may need to be turned off at night to prevent rooting media becoming too wet.
Rotenone Commercial products such as Liquid Derris are revoked from storage and use on 31 October 2011.
John Adlam, Managing director, Dove Associates