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Tillage Newsletter - May 2024

13 May 2024
Type Newsletter

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In this month's edition:

  • Spring barley
    The majority of spring barley will emerge in May. This brings different management challenges compared to barley emerging in March/April. Disease levels in late-sown barley tend to be lower. Nitrogen (N) rate needs to be managed in line with yield expectations and the risk of barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) is higher.
    • BYDV management in spring cereals
      BYDV is a major challenge on late-sown cereal crops. Aphid numbers increase with temperatures, so cereals emerging in May are at a high risk.
    • Weed control
      Late-sown crops present an opportunity to make savings on weed control due to faster development.
    • Fertiliser
      Any remaining N needs to be applied as soon as conditions allow.
    • Disease control
      The average yield response from a two-spray fungicide programme in Teagasc trials is 1.3t/ha, but can range from 0.5-2.75t/ha, depending on the season.
  • Winter cereals
    • Winter wheat
      Fungicide timing is the key determinant of successful disease control in wheat. A fully emerged leaf 1 (flag leaf) and leaf 3 are the key timings.
    • Winter barley
      The latest stage to safely use a plant growth regulator (PGR) is the awns peeping stage. Terpal 1.2-1.5L/ha or Cerone 0.6-0.7L/ha are options but watch the latest timing. 
    • Winter oats
      The final fungicide timing as the ear emerges from the boot in winter oats is to target rust and mildew, and prolong green leaf area.
  • Beans
    Beans were generally sown late this year, which may decrease disease pressure and offer savings on fungicides. However, the first fungicide at the start of flowering is crucial, especially if it is wet at the time.
  • Health & Safety - Safety in mind at this busy time
    Delayed spring field work combined with silage making and other field work will increase machinery operations. Drive at a speed that is appropriate and be vigilant of hazards like blind spots. Drivers must have a clear view as they enter/exit public roads. Talk to your contractor in advance to plan work and inform them of hazards. Keep children and people not involved in work clear of moving machinery. Tidy farmyards will help.