Our Organisation Search
Quick Links
Toggle: Topics

Tillage Update - 11th February 2021

As many tillage farmers are preparing for the commencement of field work Teagasc tillage advisors took to the fields this week to assess the condition of winter crops for the first Teagasc tillage crop walk held on Zoom this week. Teagasc crops specialist Ciaran Collins reports from the event

Teagasc crops specialist Ciaran Collins reports from the first 2021 Teagasc tillage crop walk which took place over Zoom this week as a Winter Agronomy Webinar. Ciaran says that establishment has generally been good for the majority of autumn planted crops and fertiliser application will be the first task for most farmers.

Winter Barley

Advisors reported from winter barley in Wexford, Kildalton College and Louth. Overall establishment was good. Application of nitrogen to these crops isn’t an immediate priority as research has shown that delaying the first N till mid-march won’t adversely affect yield. Priority should be given to crops that have below optimum plant counts and crops further south.

Winter Wheat

Three wheat crops were featured and there were large variations between the crops. A crop in Kildare was struggling due to wet conditions and will require early N and PGR when growth commences. Weed control was the focus in the other crops. Where crops received an autumn herbicide a tidy up may be required for example Zypar or Florasulam based products for volunteer beans. Grass weed control will be a priority for many growers and a weed screen experiment from Oak Park highlighted the benefits of pre emergence herbicide application.

Winter Oilseed Rape

Similar to other crops winter oilseed rape was well established but ground cover varied due to pigeon grazing. Heavily grazed crops will require N as soon as growth commences but crops with good ground cover (GAI > 1) N application can be delayed and lower total applied.

Watch recording of the event below


Tillage Edge Podcast

Andy Mahon, from Dublin is a farm manager on the Bromborough Estate Farm in North Bedfordshire, which is roughly halfway between London and Birmingham and firmly in the heart of arable country and he joins Michael Hennessy on this week’s Tillage Edge podcast.

Andy has worked hard on the costs of production on the farm and is the only full time employee managing close to 750 hectares of land.  Andy has full-time help for about 8 months of the year and also some help with seasonal labour at drilling and harvest.

The long term farm rainfall for the farm is around 550mm per year (Carlow is 850mm per year) and the average yields (dry) on the farm are as follows;  winter wheat 9.5t/ha, spring wheat 6.5t/ha, spring beans 4-4.5 t/ha.

In the past 8 years the Bromborough Estate transitioned from a plough-based establishment system to min-till, then to strip till and are now fully converted to a zero or no-till establishment system. The switch has helped enormously in labour efficiency, however Andy said it has taken a huge amount of effort and learning to get to what he regards as a sustainable system now.  The integration of cover crops, spring cropping and improved control of grass weeds have been a particular focus of the transition.

Catch up with the Tillage Edge podast below  

Upcoming Tillage Events

2021 National Tillage Conference - Session Two

17 February 2021

Event Time 11:30am
Venue Online

Session two will deal with more immediate issues, detailing the continuous need for integrated pest management approaches to mitigate against the problem of grassweeds and STB of winter wheat while also discussing the relevance of recent results from the on-going Teagasc systems trials, which have been examining the impact of different cultivation practises.

Register in advance at: https://www.teagasc.ie/tillagemonth/