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Tillage Update - Counting down to harvest

With the start of the harvest less than three weeks away for some growers, Ciaran Collins; Teagasc crops specialist, gives his assessment of cereal crops prior to the start of the harvest. Weather between now and harvest is crucial to realise crop potential.

Overall, it has been a relatively low disease pressure year and sowing conditions and subsequent establishment in both winter and spring cereals was excellent, which are key factors in the development of high yield. BYDV is present in both winter and spring cereals and is likely to negatively impact winter barley.

Weather between now and harvest is crucial to realise crop potential.

Winter barley

Winter barley is the most difficult crop to assess this season. While there are many crops with good ear numbers and high yield potential, BYDV and take-all will reduce yields in some situations. While the level of disease has been relatively low, ramularia is present in most crops but is unlikely to impact yield as crops move closer to harvest.

Winter wheat

Winter wheat has good yield potential, largely helped by below average septoria pressure and spraying opportunities at the crucial leaf three and flag leaf timings. The reduction in the sowing of varieties susceptible to yellow rust has been a major factor in the reduced level of the disease this season.


Both winter and spring oats have good yield potential but may struggle to achieve the record yields of 2021. Mildew was present in both winter and spring crops in the early part of the season but has been well controlled and crops are relatively clean at this stage.

Spring barley

Shoot number in spring barley is high which is the key factor in achieving a high yield. Good weather conditions at sowing has resulted in excellent establishment and relatively low disease pressure have been key factors in the high shoot numbers. BYDV is present in many crops but mostly below 7-8%. Time of infection and strains present will determine the impact on yield but is likely to be much less than in winter barley. Rain will be welcome in drier areas but crops have grown tall so growers will be concerned if heavy rain falls in combination with wind.     

Keep up to date with Teagasc Tillage events at https://www.teagasc.ie/tillagemonth/

You can check out the latest Tillage newsletter at Tillage Newsletter - June 2022

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.  Find your local Teagasc office here