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Tillage Update 11th March 2021

As we get closer to St Patrick’s Day, it is important to prioritise the planting of spring beans. History has shown that yield will be more variable when spring beans are planted in late March and April. Ciaran Collins, Crops Specialist has advice on planting Spring Beans and a winter cereals update

Spring Beans

Some planting was done in the last week but land in many parts of the country was still too wet to plant. Spring beans are an attractive option for tillage farmers this year with the high contract prices on offer in addition to the rotational benefits for the land.

At a minimum contract price of €240/t spring beans stack very well against all other spring crop options. Using the figures from the Teagasc costs and returns for 2021 at target yields (beans 5.5t/ha & spring barley 7.5t/ha), spring beans will leave over €250/ha more profit than spring feed barley in addition to the multitude of benefits leguminous crops like beans leave to the land.

Don’t forget lime, the optimum pH for beans is 6.8. Phosphorous (P) and Potassium (K) are best incorporated into the soil especially at index 1 and 2. An index 3 soil will require P 20kg/ha and K 40kg/ha or 1.6 bags/acre of 0-10-20.

Plant 40 seeds/m² to 10cm but deep sowing is less or an issue as sowing date moves towards the end of the month. Plant TGW of 450g at 180kg/ha (11.5st/ac) and TGW 550g at 220kg/ha (14.0st/ac).

Have the sprayer ready, as broadleaved weed control must be pre emergence. Options are Nirvana 4.5L/ha, Stallion 3.0L/ha or Nirvana 2.5L/ha + Defy 4.0L/ha.

Winter Cereals

Winter cereals are just starting to show signs of growth.  Most growers managed to apply N,P,K compound fertiliser on winter barley in recent days. Winter wheat will be next followed by oats but wait for good ground conditions and prioritise thin wheat crops.

There are some reports of yellow rust in the North East but recent cool wet conditions will slow its progress. Fungicide application is rarely warranted at this time of year but it is important to monitor crops especially Graham, JB Digeo, Bennington and Torp.

Don’t forget the Teagasc Tillage Edge Podcast for all the latest information on tillage crops. 

For more information check out Teagasc Tillage Month here