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Tillage Newsletter - March 2021

Get the latest information & advice from the Teagasc Crops team in this month's newsletter. It includes: Winter cereals - Phosphorus and potassium; Winter barley & Winter wheat; Spring crops - Spring beans & Spring barley; Straw incorporation measure; Date for your diary; and Health & Safety.

View Tillage Newsletter - March 2021 here (PDF)

In this month's edition:

  • Winter cereals
    The area of winter cereals has returned to normal this season. Establishment has been good in the majority of crops, apart from some that were sown later and on wetter soils. Fertiliser application and any remaining weed control will be the priority this month.
    • Phosphorus and potassium
      Prioritise any crops with low plant counts and fields with low phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) levels for the first fertiliser application.
    • Winter barley
      Apply the first split of nitrogen (N), 50kg/ha, in early March and apply the main split by GS31. On thin or backward crops, first N can be earlier (start of growth) but application rate should be low as crop demand is small.
    • Winter wheat
  • Spring crops
    • Spring beans
      There is good interest in spring beans again this year due to favourable contract prices and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) has confirmed that the protein payment is available again in 2021. Beans are an excellent break crop and offer an alternative mode of action to control grass weeds.
    • Spring barley
      Consult the 2021 recommended list for variety characteristics. Seed rate should be calculated based on the TGW, which is normally printed on the bag.
  • Straw incorporation measure
    The DAFM has secured a dedicated €10m for a pilot scheme on straw incorporation for 2021. While the finer details are to be confirmed (at time of writing), it is expected the measure will cover the chopping and incorporation of cereal straw, namely oats, wheat, rye and barley. Oilseed rape is also being considered.
  • Date for your diary
    Winter Crop Agronomy Webinar - Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 11:30am. Teagasc researchers, specialists and advisors will update growers on crop agronomy for the coming weeks. Register on www.teagasc.ie/tillagemonth
  • Health & Safety - Plan ahead to stay safe
    A total of 12% of tillage farmers suffered an injury in the previous five years, according to the most recent Teagasc National Farm Survey (NFS) farm injuries survey. Work organisation is vital in spring, such as working at a steady pace, getting enough rest and taking adequate meal breaks.