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Tillage Newsletter - July 2023

10 July 2023
Type Newsletter

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In this month's edition

  • Stubble cultivation
    The Nitrates Directive is designed to prevent pollution of surface waters and groundwater from agricultural sources and to protect and improve water quality. As part of the Nitrates Directive, tillage farmers are now required to take measures to establish green cover as soon as possible post harvest to prevent the pollution of waters caused by nitrates. Shallow cultivation or sowing of a crop/catch crop must take place within 10 days of the baling of straw, or where straw is chopped, within 10 days of harvest. In all circumstances, shallow cultivation or sowing of a crop/catch crop must take place within 14 days of harvesting.
  • Straw Incorporation Measure
    In relation to conditionality where a farmer has engaged in an agri-environment scheme including the Straw Incorporation Measure (SIM), the farmer can comply with those requirements. In the case of the SIM the farmer can have 100% of the cereal and oilseed rape area in SIM and is not required to leave 20-25% for overwintering birds.
  • Cover crops
    There are many benefits to cover crops on tillage farms including a reduction in nutrient loss, increased soil organic matter levels and improved soil structure. Large biomass production is vital to maximise the benefits of cover crops, and early sowing is essential to achieve good autumn growth and subsequent large biomass.
  • Grass weeds
    July is the perfect month to assess the level of grass weeds on your farm and to put an integrated pest management (IPM) control plan in place. Identify the weeds present and record their location in the field. Identification is easier when grass weeds are headed out, but if you are not sure, contact Teagasc or any agronomist for help.
  • Resistance testing (grass or broadleaved weeds)
    The results of herbicide resistance testing from 2022 samples paint a worrying picture, where >70% of black grass or Italian ryegrass samples tested were resistant to both ACCase and ALS herbicides. We also found that poppies were resistant to ALS and/or hormone type (2,4-D) herbicides. If you suspect that you may have herbicide resistance in grass or broadleaved weeds (specifically black grass, Italian ryegrass or poppy) in your fields, use this unique free testing service to check, which allows you to identify an effective herbicide programme to be used in conjunction with integrated weed management strategies.
  • Health and Safety - Farm Safety Week 2023
    July is the most dangerous month of the year on farms so extra vigilance is needed. A lot of hazardous work takes place, particularly with machinery, while safety for children needs special attention. Farm Safety Week takes place commencing Monday July 17, view the programme here