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Teagasc National Tillage Conference

The Teagasc National Tillage Conference ‘Building a more resilient tillage industry’ was opened today, Wednesday, 31 January by Mr. Andrew Doyle, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with responsibility for Food, Forestry and Horticulture.

Teagasc National Tillage Conference
Pictured at the Teagasc National Tillage Conference 2018 "Building a more Resilient Tillage Industry" at the Lyrath Estate Hotel in Kilkenny were (L to R); Steven Kildea, Teagasc; Mr Andrew Doyle, T.D., Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture; Professor Gerry Boyle, Teagasc, Director; Eimear Gallagher, Teagasc; John Spink, Head of Crop Science, Teagasc and John Finnan, Teagasc.

Teagasc National Tillage Conference which was held today, 31 January, 2018 in the Lyrath Hotel, Kilkenny

The Teagasc National Tillage Conference ‘Building a more resilient tillage industry’ was opened today, Wednesday, 31 January by Mr. Andrew Doyle, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with responsibility for Food, Forestry and Horticulture.

Over recent years the Teagasc crops research programme in Oak Park, Carlow, has sought to develop alternative, or minor crops, with potentially higher value markets. John Finnan, Teagasc crops researcher, presented work on Oat agronomy outlining, potential savings in seed costs and how to optimise both yield and quality through careful use of Nitrogen fertilisers. Applying half of the N in the first split at Growth Stage 30 (GS30) increased specific weight by about 1kg/hl, compared to the usual 1/3 of N applied early, with no detrimental effect on yield.

Eimear Gallagher, Teagasc food research programme, Ashtown, described research demonstrating the value of Irish barley and oats in novel baked and extruded snacks. She described how, with her colleagues, the composition, technical characteristics and baking potential of barley and oat milled fractions, were studied and used in blends with wheat and maize to formulate new bakery and snack formulations.

Steven Kildea, Teagasc crops researcher, described the continuing slide in the efficacy of the main fungicides for the control of the disease, Septoria in wheat. However, he also pointed out that disease control is possible if sprays are well timed to leaf emergence, combined with careful product selection and sequencing, albeit that an extra application of chlorothalonil may be justified if there is any compromise on the main spray timings.

A series of short presentations by Teagasc PhD Walsh Fellow students and Post-Doc researchers covered; insecticide resistance, breeding better varieties, six-row barley management, identification of soil compaction and forecasting ramularia risk.

Teagasc crops researcher, Richie Hackett, described prospects for more accurate targeting of nitrogen fertiliser inputs and the information that is needed to make better recommendations. He highlighted that whilst there is equipment available to measure variation in crops, there is not yet sufficient knowledge to use that information to make accurate recommendations.

David Wall from Teagasc Johnstown Castle outlined the importance of correct soil pH for optimum crop performance, as well as how to get the best out of P fertiliser. He also identified the strengths and weaknesses of a range of N fertiliser types.

The day concluded with a lively panel discussion with audience participation via an interactive tool allowing the audience to respond to survey questions covering subjects such as production costs, rotations and crop marketing.

The proceedings from the conference are available on the Teagasc website at

https://www.teagasc.ie/media/website/publications/2018/Proceedings-of-the-National-Tillage-Conference-2018.pdf

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