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Tillage Update - 11th November 2021

Many growers are concerned about BYDV due to the recent mild weather. Before a decision to apply an insecticide is made, inspect crops to check for the presence of aphids. Early herbicide application to winter cereals is the key to good weed control. Ciaran Collins, Tillage Specialist has more.


Many growers are concerned about BYDV due to the exceptionally mild weather this week where temperature reached 15 – 16°C in some parts of the country on Tuesday and Wednesday. Before a decision to apply an insecticide is made, inspect crops to check for the presence of aphids. Sheltered parts of the field is where aphids are most likely to be found such as dips and hollows and near hedgerows.

Crops emerging in November do not normally require an insecticide. The risker crops might be early sown crops that were sprayed a few weeks ago. If the risk is high and aphids are present, a second aphidicide may be required. It is very important from a resistance and control perspective to use an insecticide from an alternative group to the first application. For example if a pyrethroid was used the first time (eg. Karate) switch to an alternative insecticide group like sulfoximine, eg. Transform. Transform can be used in November, December and January before GS 2.1 at a rate of 48g/ha.

Weed control

Some growers took the opportunity last week to apply herbicides to winter cereals. Early herbicide application is the key to good weed control. Once annual meadow grass starts to tiller control is reduced so prioritise winter barley ahead of winter wheat where there are better post emergence options.   

A noticeable feature this week is how some crops have yellowed because of pre-emergence herbicide application. It is mainly on overlaps but in some cases it is entire fields. This has been exasperated where the herbicide was applied ahead of heavy rain. These effects are normally transient and crops grow out of it in a relatively short period of time.

The Tillage Edge Podcast

Fertiliser prices continue to rise putting pressure on crop margins for 2022. Shay Phelan and Ciaran Collins, Teagasc Tillage Specialists, join Michael Hennessy on this week's Tillage Edge podcast with practical ways to reduce your farm's dependence on chemical fertilisers and also how to make the most of every kilogram purchased.

Shay explains how a grower applying good quality cattle slurry (3,000 gal/ac) to 50 acres can save €6,000 on chemical fertiliser (not including the costs of slurry spreading). Similarly Ciaran outlined a change in farm rotation, by maximising beans, could save 7 tonnes of CAN in 2022.


If you liked this article you may also be interested in the November Tillage Newsletter
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