Tillage Update 10th March 2022
Shay Phelan, Teagasc Crops and Potato Specialist, reports that spring sowing of some crops has commenced in recent days. Shay reminds that soil conditions are more important than the date. He discusses the importance of thousand grain weights on seed rates and advises on winter crop management here
Mid-March is typically when most spring drilling starts and there are reports that some beans, wheat and barley, have been drilled in the last few days. Growers should, at this stage, complete drilling of wheat, oats and beans before turning to barley. Make sure that ground conditions are suitably dry enough to drill especially when using reduced cultivation or no-till drills, as soil conditions are more important than the date. Remember soil compaction or smearing are one of the biggest risks with these types of systems and care should be taken to avoid it as much as possible.
Seed rates will need to be adjusted according to the thousand grain weight of the seed, this can change from seed batch to seed batch and it should be printed on all bags being used. To accurately calculate the seed rate required Teagasc have a ready reckoner on our website which calculates the seed rate based on different TGW’s this can be found at Sowing
Teagasc have produced a video showing the importance of thousand grain weights on seed rates - Watch it below
Most crops have received the first application of fertiliser for the year in the last week, crops that have yet to receive any fertiliser should do so in the coming week. Other jobs that will need to be completed in the coming days may well be tidying up weed control, wild oat control, fungicide, trace elements and or plant growth regulator application. Avoid mixing all the chemistry together in one tank, as the weather in the coming week is predicted to be cold on some nights, this will scorch crops where complicated mixes are applied.
Many crops have advanced wild oats or tame oats visible above the canopy these, should get priority as you must wait 21 days after an application of a SU herbicide e.g. Cameo Max before applying Axial Pro herbicide for wild oat control. However you can apply Axial Pro with PGR’s so these should be applied when the crop reaches GS 30. Watch out for diseases such as net blotch and mildew in certain varieties where these are evident you can apply a fungicide such as Siltra or Decoy/Comet at half rates. Leave the crop for 7-10 days before applying a herbicide and or trace elements if needed.
Many early sown winter wheat crops are approaching GS 30 and will soon need to receive their compound fertiliser application. While most tillage farmers have ordered and some have received their entire yearly allocation of fertilisers many have nothing booked or ordered. This will need to be organised in the coming days as most fertiliser, be it compound and nitrogen fertilisers, will applied on tillage farms in the next 6-8 weeks. In some cases it can take a couple of weeks for fertiliser to be delivered so order in time to avoid delays or disappointment.
Oat crops are at GS 30 and will need their first fertiliser application in the coming days, growth regulators will also need to be applied. Research form Teagasc suggests that a two spray strategy for plant growth regulation works at GS 30 followed by GS 32. The best shortening effect comes at GS 32 but the best lodging control is from that two application strategy. Options at GS 30 include Ceraide 1.0-1.4 L/ha, Meddax Max 0.2 kg/ha or Moddus 0.2 l/ha + CCC 1.0 l/ha
Some crops have mildew present in them at the moment particularly Barra where this is the case include a mildewicide e.g. Midas 0.3-0.4 l/ha +/- Tebucur + Comet @ 50% rates.
You might also like to read the Tillage Newsletter - March 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