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Tillage Update - 17th September

With the harvest of 2020 virtually complete attention will quickly turn to drilling for the 2021 harvest. Shay Phelan, Teagasc Crops Specialist gives some advice on having a cropping plan. Find out what to expect at Part Two of the National Crops Forum and listen to the latest Tillage Edge Podcast.

Planning for the autumn drilling season

With the harvest of 2020 virtually complete attention will quickly turn to drilling for the 2021 harvest. Now is a good time to sit down and plan out the necessary cropping plan, one thing that has been obvious from this year’s harvest is that having a range of crops to harvest can certainly reduce the workload and stress at harvest as well as spreading the risk.

Research work from Teagasc has shown that, where good rotations are planned with appropriate crops being planted in suitable soils and suitable slots in the rotation, these are more profitable than continuous cereal cropping. Plan out the rotation to maximise the number of first cereal crops, reduce exposure to diseases such as take-all or BYDV, look for alternative markets or premium crops then and only then put in you seed orders.

Place orders for seed early as there will be a significant demand for winter cereal varieties and while there should be sufficient seed, you may not get you choice of varieties if you leave it late. Avoid sowing all of one variety again to spread the risk, be aware that thousand grain weights are higher for barley than last year so you may need more seed than previous years.

The table below gives an indication of the seed rates required for sowing in early October. The figures are based on the DAFM thousand grain weights for 2020 and may differ from what arrives on the farm.

Table 1: Winter barley Suggested seed rates

National Tillage Crops Forum

The second edition of the National Tillage Crops Forum Takes place on Thursday 17th September at from 6.30 pm. Again the forum will be run over Zoom. Topics for the forum this week are:

  1. Green Deal and Farm to Fork for the Tillage Industry
  2. Economic Impact of the Tillage Sector
  3. Crops 2030 – Strategic Plan for the Irish Crops Sector

Speakers include Dale Crammond, Department of Agriculture & the Marine (DAFM); Michael Wallace, UCD and Donal Fitzgerald, Goldcrop.

The Tillage Edge Podcast

On this week's Tillage Edge podcast Michael Hennessy talks to James McDonnell, Teagasc Financial Management Specialist about the financial challenges facing tillage farmers this year. James discusses how to develop a cash flow plan for the farm and the actions that can be taken where there may be money may be tight.