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Tillage Update April 16th

16 April 2020
Type Factsheet

Tips on winter cereals; plant growth regulators & disease control advice; nitrogen for malting barley. Podcast on early season disease control in winter wheat. Watch a video on nitrogen timing for spring malting barley.

TILLAGE: Get some tips on winter cereals; plant growth regulators and disease control advice; nitrogen for malting barley. Listen to our podcast on early season disease control in winter wheat and also watch a video on nitrogen timing for spring malting barley.

The recent dry weather has allowed farmers make significant progress on field work. Practically all the spring cereals are now planted apart from a few wet fields, there has also been significant progress made on planting of beet, maize and potatoes. For some growers it will be the earliest end to a spring planting season in a number of years. With soil temperatures above normal for this time of year crops are growing very fast with the result that most winter crops are now at their normal growth stages for this time of year.

Winter Cereals

For winter barley crops that are due to receive a third split of nitrogen they should receive this nitrogen as soon as possible. The latest timing for nitrogen is GS 32 after this nitrogen will have little or no effect on final yield. Winter wheat crops are now approaching GS 31 which is the ideal stage for a plant growth regulator, options here include CCC 2.0 L/ha or Trinexapac (Moddus etc.) 0.2 L/ha + CCC 1.0 L/ha. As always growers should watch out for large swings in day time temperature as this will stress the crop especially when mixing with other pesticides. Some wheat crops also have some weeds that still need to be controlled e.g. groundsel, speedwells, cleavers etc. the choice of products will depend on the weeds present. In winter oats many crops are also approaching or are at GS 31, most will already have received the first application of PGR and the second application will be due in the next week to 10 days. The trinexapac + CCC mix works well on oats at GS 32 which is when we tend to get the maximum shortening effect.

Disease control

Winter barley crops should have their first fungicide at this stage, there were reports of rynchosporium in Cassia and Pixel, with net blotch evident in KWS tower. Septoria is developing in wheat crops at the moment despite the later sowing, although the pressure is lower than normal. On our weekly podcast Dr. Steven Kildea, Teagasc, Oak Park discusses the impact of the recent dry weather and the later sowing on disease levels and the impact that these will have on fungicide programmes this year. Steven also discusses the effect yellow rust can have on early season disease control especially at the leaf 4 (T0) timing where a strobulurin and or epoxiconazole may be required if infections are bad. To listen to the full podcast click here.

Spring Barley

Practically all the spring barley is now sown and some of the early sown crops have emerged well. One of the most important jobs to be completed in barley is top dressing with nitrogen. This is especially important in malting and distilling crops. In the following video Eoins Lyons, Teagasc advisor on the joint Teagasc /Boortmalt programme adviser growers to top dress crops with nitrogen as soon as the tramlines are visible. Eoin also discusses the rates of nitrogen recommended to give crops the best chance to meet both brewing and distilling contracts. You can view the video on the link below.

In nitrogen index 1 situations target approximately 110-130 Kg/ha for distilling and for brewing 130-150 kg/ha. For crops in higher indices i.e. after break crops or where organic manures are used these rates should be reduced accordingly.