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Spring Barley, Spring Beans and Farm Safety

Michael McCarthy, Teagasc Tillage Advisor, Clonakilty West Cork has timely advice on fungicide application on spring barley and spring beans and cautions about being farm safety aware at all times during the busy summer season.

Photo above shows chocolate spot on spring beans

Spring Barley Disease Control

Spring crops are growing well and the broken warm weather is good to drive on crops.  To maximise yield at harvest, applying a fungicide at the correct time is the foundation for successful disease control in spring barley. Teagasc research from Oakpark has demonstrated that applying the first fungicide at mid/late tillering and a second at awn emergence can result in a yield increase of over 0.5t/ha in a high disease pressure year over delayed timings. Use a mix of active ingredients that target the fungus at no more than a half rate of each of the individual components. Include Folpet 1.5L/ha to assist in the control of ramularia. All fungicides have strengths and weakness so it is important to match the correct fungicide with the varietal characteristics. All current spring barley varieties have high ratings for resistance to mildew so the inclusion of a specific mildewicide is rarely warranted. It is essential to walk the crop beforehand and then decide on fungicide choice and rate in conjunction with the varietal characteristics. A mismatch of fungicide and variety can lead to either poor disease control or unwarranted fungicide use.  See Table 1 for the suggested spring barley fungicide programme.


Spring Beans

Some crops of beans were sown earlier than normal this year, which may result in increased disease pressure. The key to bean disease control is early spraying when disease is first seen or expected. Chocolate spot is the main threat but downy mildew and sometimes rust can rob yield. Apply T1 fungicide at the start of flowering with a follow up application 2 – 3 weeks later. Options include Elatus Era at 0.66L/ha (use only once) or Signum at 0.5-0.75L/ha, or Amistar 0.5L/ha plus tebuconazole 0.75L/ha.

Farm Safety

Silage harvesting is in full swing but spells of broken weather can put pressure on the farmer and the contractor to get through the work.  Both the farmer and the contractor need to think carefully in terms of safety.  Drivers need adequate rest to operate the machinery safely and need to operate the machinery responsibly to prevent accidents on the road or on farm.  The farmer should ensure that the farmyard is free from obstructions and the approach and exit from the yard is clear.  Be careful of the elderly and young children.  The arrival of the contractor is exciting for young budding farmers but they must be supervised carefully during this time and kept away from danger.

Tillage Edge Podcast 

Catch a recent episode of the Tillage Edge Podcast on controlling foliar diease in crops here below


For more episodes and information from the Tillage Edge podcast, visit the show page here

Teagasc advisors regularly provide articles of interest on Teagasc Daily. For any further information or assistance contact your local Teagasc Office here: Advisory Regions.

Find out more information and advice from the Teagasc Crops team here.   The Teagasc Crops Specialists issue an article on a topic of interest to tillage farmers every Thursday on Teagasc Daily