9 November: Thrips, winter and waste

Thrips: Consider applying Amblyseius cucumeris through the winter in frost-free structures to keep pest levels down.

Winterisation Check that your irrigation drain-down plan is still relevant. If the air temperature is still warm enough, tunnel covers can still be replaced. Set down newly potted crops in their final winter positions to save on labour. Tender and valuable plants need to be allocated space in protected structures.

Soil sampling Walk fields in a "W" pattern, starting away from gateways and avoiding any old lime or manure heaps. Plan next year’s fertiliser programme and apply only the nutrients needed by the crop according to NVZ and Catchment Sensitive Farming legislation. Phosphate levels can remain high for many years (locked up in soils), suppressing growth and preventing crops from accessing trace elements such as iron, so check results carefully.

Changeable weather Warm days and cool nights can increase the risk of damage on soft growth. Get fleece or Cosytex in place to be able to quickly cover vulnerable, saleable crops this month. Make sure someone is accountable for this important job to prevent unnecessary damage. Covering crops allows plants to adjust slowly to changing temperatures.

Waste exemptions Check that exemptions are in place for using, disposing, treating and storing untreated waste plant material. See www.gov.uk/guidance/register-your-waste-exemptions-environmental-permits.

IPMP Update your integrated pest management plan (IPMP) for 2018 to show that an IPM approach is being used for controlling pests, diseases and weeds. See www.voluntary initiative.org.uk/schemes/integrated-pest-management.

Rodenticides Always record the quantity of bait used and where it was placed, remember to collect and dispose of rodent bodies and never leave bait exposed to non-target organisms. Use the CRRU code — see www.thinkwildlife.org/crru-code.

Revocations Note that Revus (MAPP 13484 only) lost its approval at the end of October. MAPP 17443 (ornamentals EAMU available) is its replacement. Selected Rhizopon products have a revocation date of the end of November but, again, replacements are available. Check your product MAPP number using the CRD website. Stroby (MAPP 08653) has an end use date of 30 November but a replacement (MAPP 17316) is available with an on-label ornamentals approval. Metam 510 (MAPP 16079) is the only product containing metam-sodium that is approved beyond 31 December 2017. Vydate 10G (MAPP 16595) loses its approval at the end of December this year.

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