A Review of the 2020 Growing Season
On the final Tillage Edge podcast for the year, Michael Hennessy reviewed the 2020 growing season with Teagasc Crops Specialists Ciaran Collins and Shay Phelan.
Both Shay and Ciaran pointed to the highs of a great start this spring but the weather played its part in the lows with drought in the east and storms in the south contributing to lower yields.
Despite the lower yields a good rotation and/or adding organic matter were factors which resulted in higher yields whether the crop was challenged with drought or not. Ciaran maintain growers who are on top of these two areas get higher yields year after year.
Straw yields were also reduced this year and after a very slow start of sales but sales picked up in the autumn. Although a good level of straw is sold, but yet to be delivered, it will take until the spring to clear sheds.
In 2020, policy makers have recognised tillage as an important part of Irish agriculture and as a low GHG producer compared to other systems. There is a renewed desire to feed more Irish grain to livestock and grow more indigenous proteins which will help tillage farmers for the future.
However, challenges still exist with EU policy makers encouraging farmers to use lower levels of plant protection products and fertilisers.