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Tillage Newsletter - November 2023

06 November 2023
Type Newsletter

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In this month's edition:

  • Monitor crops for slug damage
    Slug damage is evident in many crops this autumn. Wet weather is the primary factor, but crops following oilseed rape and fields with a history of slug damage have fared worse. The fact that field conditions weren’t suitable for rolling only increased the pressure on crops.
  • Weed control
    It has been a very difficult season to apply pre-emergence herbicides. Therefore, there will be a reliance on post-emergence herbicide application. Delaying application will reduce weed control, especially of grass weeds in winter barley.
  • BYDV
    Barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) risk depends on time of sowing, location, weather pattern and type of virus present. Aphid flight is inhibited by rain and wind; therefore, the risk of BYDV infection could be lower this season. Another important factor when assessing risk is whether a ‘green bridge’ is present or not, as volunteer cereals and grasses are host species for the grain aphid.
  • Winter oilseed rape
    The wet weather has increased disease pressure in oilseed rape. Phoma is common this autumn and once the threshold of 10% of plants affected is reached, the crop should be treated. Light leaf spot is the main disease of rape in Ireland but identifying it in the autumn is difficult. To prevent disease, all rape crops should get a fungicide for light leaf spot in November.
  • Fertiliser planning
    The fertiliser register is in place so it is important to get a nutrient management plan together for 2024. The first step is to ensure that you have enough soil samples for the land that you are farming.
  • Health & Safety - Be winter ready
    Preparation is key to minimise disruption to farming activities during severe weather events. The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment has developed a practical checklist for farms, which outlines key issues when planning for, and in response to, severe weather events this winter.