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Tillage Update 23rd September 2021

Shay Phelan, Tillage Specialist, brings us this week's tillage update. He discusses the main issues that can occur when drilling winter cereals, and provides instructions for calculating seed rate for winter barley. Shay also recaps the Winter Malting Webinar that took place on Monday 20 September.

Drilling Winter Cereals

Autumn drilling has started on many farms in the last week or so as farmers take advantage of the good weather and soil conditions. However growers should be aware that early drilling can bring problems with it too, the main issues that can occur are;

  1. Increased disease pressure
  2. Increased lodging pressure
  3. Increased BYDV risk
  4. Increased grass weed emergence

All of these can make growing the crop more challenging and expensive, as the price of many inputs are likely to rise, so growers need to judge that balance between higher input costs and lower establishment costs.

One area where savings can be achieved in seed costs, early drilling into good conditions can facilitate lower seed rates as plants will normally have higher establishment rates and so the amount of seed required can be reduced. The table below for winter barley shows the seed rates of many of the popular winter barley varieties available on the market.

Table 1: Teagasc Seed Rate Calculator Guide 2021/22 - Winter Barley

Note; These are guideline figures which should be adjusted for seed TGW, seedbed conditions, expected pest attack, field history etc.

Winter Malting Webinar

Teagasc and Boortmalt held a winter malting webinar which looked at many aspects of growing winter barley varieties for brewing and distilling. On the webinar Richie Hackett and Eoin Lyons looked at key agronomy issues such as seed rates and nitrogen requirement, while Tom Bryan looked at the markets and prospects for malting barley in the coming season. The video of the webinar is available on the on the Teagasc Crops YouTube channel on the link below.

Tillage Edge Podcast

On this week’s Tillage edge podcast you can listen back to the second session from the National Tillage Crops forum:

For more episodes and information from the Tillage Edge podcast go to: www.teagasc.ie/thetillageedge.  The Tillage Edge podcast has all the latest news and insights for tillage farmers. Please pass on any podcast suggestions or feedback you may have to improve The Tillage Edge!

Find out more information and advice from the Teagasc Crops team hereThe Teagasc Crops Specialists issue an article on a topic of interest to tillage farmers every Thursday on Teagasc Daily