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Monitor crops for any trace element deficiencies this season

Monitor crops for any trace element deficiencies this season

While Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium and Sulphur have been applied to spring cereals at this stage, John W Kelly Teagasc, Drystock/Tillage Advisor, Tullamore & Birr reminds us here that is also important to monitor crops for any trace element deficiencies during the rest of the growing season.

After what has been a very long and hard winter for all farming enterprises we all hoped Mother Nature would give us a kind spring to reward our efforts for minding her crops and livestock.  We had no such luck however and April proved very challenging with poor growth and harsh weather.

Now in the last days of May we are still experiencing wintery weather.  The rain was welcome but so would some continued sunshine and warmth at this stage.

Crops have had a slow start, spring cereals were sown in ideal conditions but the lack of moisture after sowing has led to slow emergence.  We can expect crops now to move quickly through the growth stages once it has received some moisture and the temperatures rise once again as promised by our forecasters.

While most of you will have applied the appropriate Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium and Sulphur to your spring cereals at this stage. It is also important to monitor your crops for any trace element deficiencies during the rest of the growing season.

Magnesium (Mg)

Zinc (Zn)

Manganese (Mn)

It is very important to detect any of these deficiencies early and to take action with an appropriate treatment to try and maintain projected crop yields. 

Strong forward grain prices quoted last week by the main co-ops gives the opportunity to forward sell a percentage of the harvest and give some security for your product.  The introduction of a straw incorporation scheme by the DAFM will no doubt lead to a greater demand for straw this year.  All, I hope will give growers some cautious optimism for harvest 2021.

Read more on Trace Elements in Tillage crops here 

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