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Tillage Newsletter - March 2022

02 March 2022
Type Newsletter

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In this month's edition:

  • Winter cereals
    Fertiliser application will be the priority this month. The dramatic increase in fertiliser costs will result in an adjustment to application rates this season.
    • Winter barley
      Apply the first split of N (50kg/ha) in early March and apply the main split by GS31. On thin or backward crops, the first N can be earlier (start of growth) but application rate should be low as crop demand is small. Sulphur (S) (15kg/ha) and deficient trace elements (based on soil analysis and field history) should be applied before GS31.
    • Winter wheat
      Apply 40-50kg/ha of N as the first split in mid March or by GS30. Increase rates to 75kg/ha for thin crops, second wheat or where take-all is a risk. Generally, divide the N applications one-quarter:half:one-quarter over three splits. 
    • Winter oats
      The first application of approximately 50% of the total N requirement should be applied by GS30 (early to mid March). Where no autumn herbicide has been applied, treat with a sulfonylurea (Cameo Max/Ally Max) and a suitable partner to match weed spectrum.
  • Spring crops
    • Spring beans
      There is strong interest in spring beans again this year due to favourable contract prices (€265) and increased fertiliser costs. The protein payment is available again in 2022.
    • Spring barley
      Consult the 2022 recommended list for variety characteristics. Seed rate should be calculated based on the TGW, which is normally printed on the bag. Sow 350 seeds/m² to establish 300 plants/m² in good conditions.
  • Sprayer testing
    One of the key elements of the Sustainable Use Directive (SUD) is that sprayers must be tested and certified. A properly functioning sprayer is essential to get the best response from plant protection products (PPPs) and to protect the environment.
  • Health & Safety - Tractor/machine overturning dangers
    With slurry and fertiliser spread in March, there is a lot of high-injury-risk movement. Farm deaths have occurred due to overturning of tractors, loaders and trailed equipment, including slurry tankers and cattle trailers/boxes.