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Tillage Newsletter - March 2024

08 March 2024
Type Newsletter

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In this month's edition:

  • Winter cereals
    • Making winter crops work
      It may be more economic to manage a thin winter cereal crop with reduced inputs rather than replacing it with spring cereals. Use plant counts to determine management strategy for winter cereals.
    • Replanting considerations
      When contemplating replanting a winter crop with spring barley, delay this decision until all other spring cereals have been planted.
    • Winter barley
      In ‘normal’ crops apply the first split of N (50kg/ha) in early March and 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.
    • Winter wheat
      On thin crops, second wheat or where take-all is a risk, increase N rate for the first application to 75kg/ha. For crops with satisfactory plant counts apply 40-50kg/ha of N as the first split in mid March or by GS30.
    • Winter oilseed rape
      There are big savings to be had in crops with large canopies. Avoid early application and high N rates in these crops. Excessive N will result in a reduction in yield.
  • Spring crops
    • Spring beans
      Interest in spring beans is good due to the increased protein payment, favourable contract prices (€250), and a scarcity of spring seed. The protein payment rate will depend on the area planted but will be in the range of €350-€500/ha.
    • Spring barley
      Seed is in tight supply this season, so growers may not get their variety choice. Gather as much information as possible on the variety you are sowing.
  • Health and safety - Organise your workload
    March brings an increase in workload on many farms. It is important to be as organised as possible. Keep equipment well maintained and stored safely so it can be easily found when needed. This will save time and make tasks easier.