2023-04-18. sow +11 days, 56 degree-days_base3, 15mm rainfall.


It is difficult to put a number on it, but it is definitely >0%. The majority of the field is still bare soil, but there are also many areas with rows of visible cotyledons (BBCH09). A few digs found plants in various stages of development. All pellets were at least cracked with radicle (BBCH05) and about half those not yet emerged from the soil did have an emerged shoot (BBCH07).

The photo below looks like bare soil, but there are five small stones in a row, all sitting next to an emerged plant.

The rows behind the tractor wheels that were sown shallow might have lost a few more seeds to mice, but otherwise, the emergence is probably the most advanced.

Soil moisture is still good – pellets are sitting in darker soil – but it is declining. The forecast is for sun and wind over the next five days, so the rain forecast for six days from now (sow+17, 24 April, low certainty) would be welcome.


Feeling a lot more relaxed about this. There is definitely a crust, but it is very thin and fragile, and sitting on top of dry and loose soil. There are some areas that will be hard, but 99% of the field feels nice and friable.

At the same time, I would expect some crusting in these two one-meter strips (between red sticks) in the research trial: 3 litres of water added.


It was hard to see the weeds for the beets: all attempts to look for weeds ended with the focus drawn to the only source of green in the field – the emerging beets. Many digs were attempted, but nothing was found. The photo below is as close as I got to finding a weed. I’m pretty confident it’s a beet at 20 cm, but not sure what it is at 26 cm. Oilseed rape? It feels familiar. What do the experts say?


There was a little window over the Friday + weekend 15-17 April where we could have got some Centium out pre-emergence. 0.1 l/ha onto moist soil, max 3 m/s wind, median growth stage around BBCH03, everyone very conscience of our neighbours and risk of drift, known to be effective against a likely problem weeds black-bindweed (aka Fallopia convolvulus, eller åkerbinda) and prostrate knotweed (aka Polygonum aviculare, eller trampört). Perfect. The only problem was that every tractor in Sweden was busy either with holidays or sowing. Oh well. So no Centium until at least TIII, if at all.


Not too much happening on the insect front yet. Showing my skills as both a photographer and entomologist here, I captured these beauties:


Things that will be interesting to observe

  • when the weeds start to appear
  • if the windy day forecast at sowing +13days (20 April) will cause sand-blasting.
  • if a crust does form in the research plots.


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