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Tillage Newsletter - January 2022

05 January 2022
Type Newsletter

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In this month's edition:

  • Planning for 2022
    Planning for the season ahead has never been so important but never so difficult. Input costs have increased significantly, particularly fertiliser, but machinery running and plant protection product costs have increased as well. Preparation of a crop budget is essential, as a poor-yielding crop may not cover its costs.
    • Nutrient management plan
      The first step in managing fertiliser this season is the preparation a nutrient management plan for the farm, and the first step in any nutrient management plan is up-to-date soil tests.
    • P and K
      The cost of P/K fertiliser blends has doubled compared to this time last year, so the rates of P and K should be adjusted to match crop offtakes.
    • Nitrogen for wheat and barley
      Cereals are very responsive to nitrogen (N). The amount of N applied to a crop is based on the fertiliser N curve. Yield increases as more N is applied until we reach a point in the curve where there is no additional yield from extra N applied. 
      This is the maximum N rate. It is important to note that N response curves are constructed over time and there are large variabilities between sites and seasons.
    • Crop choice
      For farmers with predominantly winter crops, the decisions have already been made but there is scope for farmers with spring crops to alter cropping choices.
  • Signpost Programme
    The Teagasc Signpost farms will focus on practices to reduce emissions and nutrient losses, understand and improve soil carbon, while enhancing biodiversity and water quality. There are six tillage farmers who have signed up for the programme and this month’s profiles are Tom Barry who farms in Killavullen outside Mallow in Co. Cork and Will Stokes who farms in Kilsheelan near Clonmel, Co. Tipperary in partnership with his father Patrick.
  • Virtual Tillage Conference 2022
    The 2022 National Tillage Conference will take place virtually, split over two days. The first session will take place on Thursday, January 13 and the second session on Thursday, January 27. Register here