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The Tillage Edge Podcast

The Tillage Edge is Teagasc’s weekly podcast for tillage farmers. Presented by Michael Hennessy the podcasts will cover the latest information, insights and opinion to improve your tillage farm performance.

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Episode 8

 

Denis Griffin, Potato Breeder in Oak Park, Teagasc joined Michael Hennessy on this episode of the Tillage Edge to discuss tips and advice for potato agronomy.  Denis said crops emerged very fast, some in less than 3 weeks, and many are at tuber initiation stage. However he expressed concern that the very dry conditions may cause herbicide control issues and will accelerate the need for irrigation this year.

 

With the current heat, many crops are growing rapidly, where moisture is not limiting.  Irrigation will maintain and drive on this growth rate. This new growth is more susceptible to blight and difficult to keep protected due to the amount of new leaf material produced each week. Irrigation (or rain) will create humidity and leaf wetness making ideal conditions for blight spread.

There has already been one blight warning in the north west and if we get prolonged rain, conditions would be very conducive to blight spread. The first blight application is a trade-off between having enough foliage to receive the fungicide and the likelihood of spread.  Prevention of blight in the canopy is key and sets the foundation for season long control.

Denis also stressed to need to regularly inspect seed crops for blight and viruses.  Potato virus can build up quickly in seed potatoes with potato virus PVY the most important virus.  Denis discusses controlling this virus but also mentions that PVY is difficult to control.

Episode 7

Tillage grass weeds including wild oats and blackgrass were the topic for discussion on this week’s Tillage Edge and Michael Hennessy was joined by Jimmy Staples, manager of the Enable Conservation Agriculture project in Teagasc.

Jimmy told Michael that the major weeds like wild oats, bromes and blackgrass are in every county across the country and the incidence is increasing year on year.

He recommends all farmers should walk fields before spraying any grass weed herbicide and should ensure to thoroughly hand rogue the field for missed plants before harvest to prevent seed return.

Blackgrass is a weed which is becoming more prevalent in Ireland and Jimmy recommends all growers should have heightened awareness of the weed and ensure it does not establish on the farm.  Where a grower has blackgrass the best farm management practice is to embrace the problem. 

Where the infestation is moderate to high, crop (and weed) destruction in the coming week or so is the best option to prevent seed return and is one of the best steps for long term control.  A grower in this situation should have a 5 year plan for that field and for the farm, in general, to ensure the weed is eliminated.

Bonus Episode 3

On this bonus episode of the Tillage Edge, we're bringing you our virtual crop walk from Oak Park focusing on winter wheat.

Because of Covid-19, Teagasc's normal crop walk couldn't take place, but instead we were able to bring you an interactive version with crops specialist, Stephen Kildea, as well as John Hogan, Oak Park's Farm Manager to give us an idea of what the winter wheat is looking like.

Bonus Episode 2

On this bonus episode of the Tillage Edge, we're bringing you our virtual crop walk from Oak Park focusing on spring barley.

Because of Covid-19, Teagasc's normal crop walk couldn't take place, but instead we were able to bring you an interactive version with crops specialist, Ciaran Collins, as well as John Hogan, Oak Park's Farm Manager, to give us an idea of what the spring barley is looking like.

Episode 6

John Spink, Head of the Crops Environment and Land Use Programme in Teagasc joined Michael Hennessy on this week’s Tillage Edge podcast to chat about the difficulties of getting trials into the ground this year and the prospects for crops for the year ahead. 

He said the dry soils in Oak Park allowed trafficability where other soils would not. Due to this almost all crops were planted into generally good conditions in the autumn and the spring. Trials are generally on track so far this year but the centre will have to manage without the usual help of visiting students during the summer.

John discussed the prospects for crops this year and commented on the effects of the current dry conditions in the east of the country. John said crops are starting to suffer from moisture stress but disease levels are low enabling a wider choice of plant protection products. 

He maintains crops should be managed for maximum yield but there is no room for unproven additional products in the tank. John also maintains growers should question their agronomist about every input to ensure it will contribute to increased margins.

Bonus Episode

On this bonus episode of the Tillage Edge, we're bringing you our virtual crop walk from Oak Park focusing on spring barley.

Because of Covid-19, Teagasc's normal crop walk couldn't take place, but instead we were able to bring you an interactive version with crops specialist, Ciaran Collins, as well as John Hogan, Oak Park's Farm Manager, to give us an idea of what the spring barley is looking like.

Bonus Episode

On this bonus episode of the Tillage Edge, we're bringing you our virtual crop walk from Oak Park focusing on winter barley.

Because of Covid-19, Teagasc's normal crop walk couldn't take place, but instead we were able to bring you an interactive version with crops specialist, Shay Phelan as well as John Hogan, Oak Park's Farm Manager to give us an idea of what the winter barley is looking like.

Episode 5

On the Teagasc Tillage Edge podcast this week, Michael Hennessy was joined by Deirdre Doyle, Technologist in Oak Park, Carlow who chatted about disease control in spring barley. 

Deirdre explained that crops were very clean at the moment, partly aided by the recent dry weather, and by reasonably good varietal resistance to fungal diseases. She pointed out that, despite the lack of disease at the moment, growers need to walk their crops before the application of the first fungicide.

Deirdre was involved in research which re-looked at fungicide timings in spring barley. She described the key timings are at mid to late tillering for the first timing and awns emerged for the final fungicide. She also noted that a mix of key actives (triazole plus strob/SDHI) at a 50% rate will be sufficient in most cases. 

As Chlorothalonil (Bravo) cannot be used after May 20th Deirdre explained there is no role for this fungicide in disease control this year either at the first or second fungicide timing in spring barley. Growers can use Folpet at the final timing and the new chemistry Revysol will also be a useful addition.

Episode 4

This week’s Teagasc Tillage Edge podcast is discussing weed control strategies in spring barley with Eoin Lyons, a Teagasc advisor working in the Teagasc/Boortmalt Joint programme.

Eoin told presenter, Michael Hennessy, that although seedbeds and establishment were generally excellent crops are suffering from drought stress, especially in the eastern half of the country.

He pointed out there weren’t a huge amount of weeds emerged in fields as yet. He recommended waiting for the promised rain during this week to allow crops to recover from drought stress for a number of days and also to allow more weeds to emerge.

Eoin emphasised utilising an IPM approach to arrive at the most targeted herbicide to use in fields. He was very keen to point out the best results are achieved by applying the herbicide to a small weed (1-2 pairs of true leaves) and where possible ensure three or four days of good growth both before and after the application of the herbicide.

Episode 3

Tillage Specialist Ciaran Collins joins Michael Hennessy on this week’s Tillage Edge to discuss aphids and Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus or BYDV. 

Ciaran outlined that all the spring cereals (wheat, barley and oats) are potentially at risk from BYDV infection and indicated that trial results has shown yield decreased of 2 tons per hectare due to BYDV. 

The best timing for control is at the 4 leaf stage, with crops emerging in early to mid-April at a moderate risk (depending on your location). 

Ciaran described the importance of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) measures such as assessing risk based on location and time of planting but he also stressed the importance of infield monitoring. 

Ciaran also touched on insecticide resistance in aphid populations. KDR resistance is widespread but may vary from field to field. He recommends crop inspection four to five days after application to monitor control and if live juvenile aphids are found there may be resistance in the field. 

However, he pointed out if the first application was completed correctly then a reapplication of an aphicide should not be completed as no further control will be achieved.  

Episode 2

This week’s guest on the Tillage Edge is Dr Steven Kildea, Researcher in Teagasc, to discuss disease control strategies in winter wheat. 

Steven first discussed the effect of later planted crops and low disease levels following the recent very dry weather.  Steven pointed out there is still plenty of disease within crops and it’s the weather from now that will dictate how that disease develops. 

He recommends growers walk crops regularly, assessing plant growth stages and disease levels so that the main fungicides are applied at the correct timing. It is especially important to get the first main fungicide applied at the third leaf fully emerged stage.

Steven explained how yellow rust can be a huge threat early in the season and growers need to move quickly if the disease enters a susceptible variety. 

Septoria control will change somewhat this year with the introduction of a new triazole called Revystar and the withdrawal of Chlorothalonil on May 20th. Steven recommends, if Revystar is going to be used, then target its use at the flag leaf timing (in mid May) and use Chlorothalonil where it is available (but before May 20th).

Episode 1

On the first episode of Teagasc's Tillage Edge podcast, Michael Hennessy was joined by Dr. Richie Hackett to discuss nitrogen strategies in winter cereals and also malting barley.  Richie has a wealth of research expertise and is the main researcher in this area in Ireland. 

Winter crops took a battering last autumn from later than normal planting combined with constant wet soil conditions all the way to March this year.  Yield potential may have suffered however Richie is upbeat about most crops.  With good agronomic management and a kind season there is still good potential in most crops.

Richie explained where plant stands were good and where the tillers/shoots were retained good yield potential can be fulfilled.  For that reason Richie doesn’t recommend deviating too far from the normal amount of nitrogen applied to crops. 

He recommends where a crop’s potential isn’t great to reduce nitrogen input by 20 kg N/ha for each one ton/hectare lower yield than normal.  However he also recommended not to reduce overall rates by more than 40kg N/ha.