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Organic tillage research in Wexford

Organic tillage research in Wexford

Earlier this year, Teagasc carried out an organic manure treatments trial on a crop of organic spring oats near Duncannon, Co. Wexford, Martin Bourke, Organic Tillage Specialist, tells us more.

The trial consisted of four replications of eight different treatments. All the treatments were randomised within each replication to avoid any field bias.

Treatments included cattle slurry, dairy sludge, free-range poultry manure and poultry manure pellets. Other treatments included a number of spray applied products with biological or bio-stimulant properties. And finally, there was an untreated control treatment, against which all other treatments could be compared against.

Each plot was sown with a plot drill, and harvested with a plot combine and yield, moisture content and kph was recorded.

The treatment which gave the highest yield increase (0.67t/ha increase over untreated) was the poultry manure pellets. However, in terms of best return over cost of treatment, the cattle slurry offered the highest net gain per ha. It gave a positive return of €219/ha when allowing for extra grain yield produced and replacing/building phosphorous and potassium off-takes.

One note of caution is that this trial is only one year’s data on one site. The Teagasc Organic Team hopes to expand this trial in 2024 to gather more data and test other relevant treatments and timing of treatments.

A detailed account of the trial results can be viewed here.