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Tillage Update 28th April 2022


Ciaran Collins, Teagasc Tillage Specialist reports on the progress of tillage crops this week. He notes that BYDV is a concern for some winter barley growers in parts of the south. All crops are progressing well otherwise with low disease levels and Ciaran provides advice for managing this

Main photo above: ‘BYDV in winter barley in Cork’

Winter cereals

Growth stages in winter cereals are normal for the time of year but the level of disease in winter crops is lower than normal mainly due to the recent dry spell of weather. BYDV is evident this year with crops in South Tipperary and along the South coast worst affected.

Winter barley

Growth stages in winter barley range between GS 32 and awn emergence on some early planted Joyau. The majority of crops are at flag leaf emergence and are at an ideal timing for a final growth regulator if it is required. Disease levels are low and brown rust that appeared earlier in the season has been well controlled by the first fungicide application. The target disease at the final fungicide timing will be ramularia. Recent Teagasc research has shown that the best control of ramularia comes from an application of Folpet 1.5L/ha with the final fungicide between GS 45 (booting) and GS 49 (awn emergence).

BYDV is a cause of concern for some growers but it is not widespread across the country. The worst affected crops are in South Tipperary and along the South coast. Mild weather over the autumn/winter is a large factor but the problem is worse where crops were sown early. Location is a big factor, aphids were captured in the suction tower in Cork over the autumn/winter period whereas there was very little activity in the suction tower in Carlow.

Winter Wheat

The majority of winter wheat crops are receiving their leaf 3 fungicide this week. Leaf 3 is fully emerged on most winter wheat crops sown in the first half of October. The dry weather has been an enormous benefit in keeping disease levels low and in many crops leaf 4 is still free of septoria. While there are some pockets of yellow rust, overall the levels of yellow rust are much lower than in recent seasons. The reduction in sowing of susceptible varieties like Bennington, JB Digeo and Torp is also a significant factor in the lower levels of the disease.

Winter Oats

Winter oats growth stages range from GS 32 to GS 39. Similar to winter wheat and barley disease levels are relatively low. Mildew is present in some earlier sown crops and there are pockets of crown rust in places.

Spring cereals

Emergence in spring cereals is excellent this year. Weed control in earlier planted crops is the priority but dry weather is delaying the main flush of weeds in later sown crops so delay weed control till that first flush of weeds appear.

The threat from BYDV is higher this year for growers in the Southern counties but this does not mean that all crop should receive an insecticide. March sown crops are lower risk than April sown crops. It is important to check the crop for the presence of aphids before a decision is made to apply an insecticide. Aphids are more likely to be found near the headland and in sheltered areas.

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