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Dry Weather Advice for Tillage Farmers

01 June 2020
Type Media Article

Many crops around the country are under considerable moisture stress at the moment. Ciaran Collins Teagasc crops specialist has some timely advice

There is a large variation in spring crops this season. Crops in north Leinster are particularly affected from lack of rainfall with soil moisture deficits as high as 70mm on May 26th whereas spring crops along the south coast have received much more rain since sowing where the SMD is low at 11-18mm.

Ciaran Collins, Teagasc Crops specialist advised tillage growers to assess all crops’ yield potential before applying remaining fungicides. “Yield expectations are low in some crops especially in North East Leinster. Given the dry weather, low disease pressure and low yield potential, where fungicides are yet to be applied, tailor the final fungicide spend accordingly. In most cases a very low fungicide spend is warranted”.

On the contrary some crops in the south of the country have good yield potential and have higher disease pressure. “While disease pressure in the south is higher farmers should still take advantage of the dry weather and tailor fungicide programmes appropriately”, says Ciaran Collins.

“The current dry conditions may not last so we need to be adaptable”, warns Ciaran.     

Currently there isn’t a large demand for whole crop from the livestock sector as drought is relatively localised and there is a stock of silage on farms but this may change.

Root crops such as beet and potatoes are under considerable moisture stress at the moment.  Where there is capacity, the priority should be to irrigate high value crops like potatoes to protect the crop yield.