Tillage Update 21st April 2022
The excellent weather will allow growers to get out in fields to apply some of the plant protection products which are necessary for many crops at the moment. Michael Hennessy, Head of Crops KT, Teagasc, has the week's Tillage update for winter crops of wheat, barley and oats and spring crops
The earliest sown winter wheat crops are due their first major fungicide or the leaf 3 fungicide as the third last leaf is fully emerged. On other crops, sown around the normal time i.e. early to middle of October, these will be due to get the leaf three application in the middle or end of next week. In all cases it is critical to split stems and count all the leaves to ensure the leaf which is emerging is the leaf 3, no matter when the crop was sown. The third last leaf or Leaf 3 should be fully emerged before applying the leaf 3 fungicide. If you are unsure get your local advisor/agronomist to help you. The fungicide will consist of a multisite (Folpet @1.5L/ha) plus Triazole + SDHI/Qii (80-100% rate) e.g. Revystar, Lentyma, Aquino, Peacoq, Questar, Elatus Era, Ascra Expro. Note: Revysol and inatreq based fungicides recommend one application each per season to preserve the long term efficacy and should be mixed with an additional systemic fungicide and a multisite e.g. Folpet.
Within the next couple of weeks the remainder of the nitrogen can be applied to crops when the crop reaches the early flag leaf stage. Given the rise in grain price most growers can profitably apply close to the normal amount of nitrogen to crops to drive yields. For growers in long term tillage fields 210kg N/ha can be applied, with extra allowance where previous high yields were achieved on the farm.
Winter barley is now at the second leaf emerging to the flag leaf peeping stage and at the correct stage to apply a growth regulator to help reduce the plant height and lodging. The ideal timing for the growth regulator is GS 32 to flag leaf emerged. Products which can be used including Terpal, Flagstaff, Medax Max, Optimus, Padwan, etc. The rate of each product will depend on the crop, with 6 row requiring close to full rate and other stronger standing varieties close to a half rate will be sufficient. Using PGR on cold nights can lead to crop damage and is also less effective in reducing the height of the crop.
Crop growth stages are generally at GS 32 (second node). All the nitrogen should be applied at this stage. Growth stage 32-33 is the ideal stage for effective growth regulation to reduce the height of the plant. Options include; trinexapac-ethyl e.g. Moddus etc. 0.2 L/ha/Meddax Max 0.2 kg/ha + CCC 1.0L/ha, Ceraide/K2 1.15 L/ha (max total dose 2.3L/ha) or CCC 2.0 L/ha. Most crops need disease control and this can be applied with the growth regulator application. Crops are generally clean but rust has been reported in crops in the south of the country. Options will depend on what the disease levels are in the crops and include prothioconazole at 60 % rate + Comet 50-60% rate or Boogie/Cello at a 70% rate.
Crops have been sown in excellent conditions and have established well. There are few reports of pest damage so far and crops are coming close to the weed control timing. Most years aphid control may be necessary especially where crops were planted in April. This year almost all crops are planted early and there is less need for an aphicide on most farms. However, Teagasc aphid counts have shown there are more aphids in the south of the country especially closer to the coast.
Teagasc are encouraging very careful monitoring to justify the use of an aphicide this year. To justify use a farmer should be in an area which traditionally suffers from high BYDV levels, have evidence of active aphids in winter and also spring crops and there is favourable weather for aphids to multiply. So think carefully before using an aphicide this year. A little BYDV in a crop (<5%) will not affect yield or quality and should be acceptable to all farmers.
Most farmers don’t need to apply an aphicide!
The Tillage Edge Podcast
Teagasc Tillage Specialists Ciarán Collins and Shay Phelan discuss the crop management actions needed on farms in the coming weeks on this week's podcast.
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