Tillage Newsletter - August 2021
01 August 2021
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In this month's edition:
- Straw incorporation
The new Straw Incorporation Measure (SIM) has been a great success, with over 38,000ha committed to the scheme. Oats are the predominant crop in the scheme, which account for 33% of the area, barley is next at 25%, followed by wheat at 22%, and finally oilseed rape at 20%.
- Catch crops
One of the key factors in growing good catch crops is early drilling, as August-planted crops always perform better than September crops. Target fields that were cleared early (e.g., winter barley) and get crops established. Be aware that crops like mustard will grow quite quickly and become stemmy, so leave these until later in the month.
- Post-harvest stubble management
There has been a significant increase in problem grass weeds like bromes and black grass being reported to Teagasc advisors this year, as well as the usual fields of wild oats. Stubble cultivations are the first step in the control of many grass weeds, as the reliance on herbicides is not achieving adequate control on many farms. Grass weeds, especially black grass, could become the most problematic weeds on Irish farms if not controlled early.
- Winter oilseed rape
Oilseed rape offers an ideal break from cereal rotations and is a good entry for first wheats. Other benefits include spreading the workload, soil structure benefits, and it can be used to control difficult grass weeds.
- Health & Safety - Beware of moving machinery
August is harvest month and a lot of machinery is moving on farms and public roads, including trailers, balers and silage gear. Movement brings danger, particularly to bystanders, including children and older farmers.