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Teagasc Spring Crop Walks Series

Teagasc are currently holding a series of 16 spring crop farm walks around the country where the latest information on crop nutrition, disease control and pest management is being discussed by growers. The dry weather at the moment is providing ideal sowing conditions for the last of the spring sown crops to be established.

Speaking at one of the farm walks this week, Teagasc Crops Specialist Tim O’ Donovan said: “Under the new CAP reform rules, tillage farmers are required to grow a range of crops, depending on their area farmed. Also, they must devote 5% of their tillage area to Ecological Focus Areas (EFA) which can comprise of certain landscape features like hedgerows and crops like peas/beans/over-winter green cover or fallow. These rules are driving changes on tillage farms contributing to the rise in winter barley and a corresponding fall in spring barley. For the first time ever, the area of winter cereals will equal, or be very close to, the area of spring cereals in Ireland.”

Teagasc recognises that these changes are forcing some farmers to grow crops for the first time and/or change their cropping mix. Teagasc Crops Specialist Michael Hennessy said: ” These changes impact on the whole rotation on farms and with increasing levels of pest, disease and weed resistance to current plant protection products, growers will have to plan forward and avail of all the knowledge they can get to maximise their crops. Teagasc are concentrating the focus of this year’s series of spring crop walks to inform growers of the latest agronomy for crops like beans, winter barley etc.”

The advice given at the walks is available on the Teagasc website at www.teagasc.ie. Details of the remaining walks in the series is available at Spring_Crop_Walks