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Teagasc Tillage Update

25 March 2020
Type Media Article

TILLAGE: The weather is improving allowing sowing to take place. Get some tips on planting beans. If you are planting spring cereals. plant wheat, oats and malting barley first. Watch the winter barley update and P & K requirements for winter cereals.

In these unprecedented times we all need to change the way we do things so Teagasc crop walks and discussion group meetings are on hold. In order to fill the void and to provide tillage farmers with up to date technical backup the Teagasc tillage specialist team will publish a weekly update on www.teagasc.ie/crops .

These updates will continue for the duration of the 2020 growing season. The aim of these knowledge transfer updates is to provide farmers with relevant advice based on crop growth stages backed up by Teagasc research and advisor experience. These weekly updates will be supplemented by regular video clips from the fields and shared via the Teagasc website and social media channels.

In this video, Shay Phelan, Teagasc Tillage Specialist gives an update on the progress of winter barley sown in October and what the plan is for the coming days.

Weather. The dry weather over the last few days has allowed farmers to get some ploughing done and a start has been made to spring sowing on drier ground. The weather forecast indicates that there will be a good deal of dry weather over the coming week, with rainfall amounts well below normal in most parts of the country so this should allow spring crops to be sown. Temperatures will be mild at first, but turning cold after midweek, with frost at night so caution is advised with spraying.

Beans. It is essential to prioritise planting of beans to avoid late harvesting and lower yields. The protein payment is available again in 2020. Plant 35-40 seeds/m². TGW will normally be printed on the bag, sowing rate for TGW or 450g is 225kg/ha (14.3st/ac). Apply P & K at sowing time and work into the seedbed or place with seed at sowing time where possible. Pre emergence herbicide application is essential for good weed control. Main options are Nirvana 4.0L/ha, Nirvana 2.5L/ha + Defy 4.0L/ha or Stallion 3.0L/ha.

Spring cereals. Plant wheat, oats and malting barley first. Sowing conditions are often more important than sowing date so don’t be afraid to wait and extra day or two to get conditions right. Apply a compound fertiliser (N, P & K) before / during sowing for example 10-10-20 / 12-8-20 / 13-6- 20 depending on soil P & K Indexes.

Plant 350 seeds/m² of barley to establish 300 seeds/m². Be careful of TGW. Planet will generally have a TGW that is 4-5g higher than Gangway and this equates to one stone per acre more seed required, (10.1 versus 11.1). Some of the imported seed is smaller than native seed so check with supplier if TGW isn’t printed on the bag.

Table 1: Spring cereal sowing rates for mid/end March.

Crop Spring Wheat Spring Oats Spring Barley
Target plants m² 350 350 300
Sowing seeds m² 411 411 352
% Establishment 85 85 85
*TGW Low37 Med40 High44 Low35 Med37 High40 Low45 Med48 High52
Sowing rate kg/ha 152 165 181 144 152 165 159 169 184
Sowing rate st/ac 9.7 10.5 11.5 9.2 9.7 10.5 10.1 10.8 11.7

*Large variations. Check bag for TGW

In this video, Mark Plunkett, Teagasc Soils Specialist gives an overview of the P & K requirements for Winter Cereals.

Winter cereals. Winter cereals have picked up in the last few days. Winter barley growth stages are from GS 22 to GS 30 while wheat is at mid tillering. Most winter cereals have received the first split of nitrogen. Early developing winter barley crop should receive their main nitrogen split this week. Check trace elements on recent soil analysis and address any crop nutrient deficiencies over the coming weeks.

Teagasc Tillage Specialists