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Teagasc Tillage Thursday's

Welcome to Tillage Thursday's during which we will deliver the latest insights on current tillage research plus the most relevant technical advice for tillage farmers through a series of live, interactive webinars.  

January 13thView Virtual Tillage Conference session 1 Proceedings - Managing Crop Nutrition
January 20th -  
View Utilisation of Nutrients Webinar here
January 27thView Virtual Tillage Conference session 2 Proceedings  - Pest Control Considerations and Further Research Insights
February 3rd - 
View CAP23 Webinar
February 10th - Crops Malting Webinar

The tillage industry underpins Ireland’s agri-food enterprises through the provision of high quality feed / material for processing, with the sector being the most carbon efficient within Irish agriculture. 

While the expansive role the cropping sector can play in supporting sustainable food production is clear, the sector faces legislative, environmental and land use challenges that are undermining its economic sustainability.

In response, continued innovation and investment in crop improvement and knowledge transfer strategies is essential if we are to improve the resilience of the sector and exploit the significant opportunities that exist to add value for the primary producer in response to consumer preferences for increased provenance and authenticity.

Crops Malting Webinar - Thursday, 10 February | 11:30am

The webinar was held as part of the Teagasc Boortmalt Joint Programme on malting barley.

On this webinar which took place on Thursday, 10 February, host Michael Hennessy, Head of Crops Knowledge Transfer Department, Teagasc was joined by Eoin Lyons, Teagasc Boortmalt Joint Programme Advisor; David Walsh-Kemmis, Laois farmer and Malt Barley Monitor Farmer; Dr Richie Hackett, Teagasc Researcher; John Crowley, Wexford farmer and Malt Barley Monitor Farmer; Dr Gary Lanigan, Teagasc Researcher; and Tom Bryan, Boortmalt.

Eoin Lyons met with David Walsh-Kemmis who farms just outside Stradbally in Co. Laois to get an insight into how he manages both his brewing and distilling barley on the farm in relation to his N, P & K applications and also what his plans are for this year in relation to fertiliser application on his crops considering the way the fertiliser market is currently. Eoin also gave an insight into cover crop trials on the monitor farms. Richie Hackett, Teagasc discussed distilling malting barley and the nitrogen input for malting barley in 2022. 

Eoin Lyons caught up with John Crowley, who farms just outside Ferns in Co. Wexford to get an insight into sustainability on his farm and how he sees it fitting into his farming system, and especially in relation to malting barley. Gary Lanigan gave an insight into the sustainablity of malting barley and some of the factors that we can do to help reduce the greenhouse gases from malting barley production.

Eoin Lyons gave an update on the Teagasc Boortmalt Joint Programme and some of the ongoing work in the programme. Tom Bryan gave an update on the new malting plant.

Watch webinar recording below

CAP23 Webinar - Thursday, 3 February | 11:30am

On this webinar which took place on Thursday, 3 February, host Michael Hennessy, Head of Crops Knowledge Transfer Department, Teagasc was joined by Cormac McGann and Francis Morris, DAFM; Clive Carter, Laois Farmer; and Ciaran Collins, Teagasc Crops Specialist to discuss the new CAP proposals and how tillage farmers will be affected by these changes from 2023.

Cormac McGann and Francis Morris, DAFM gave an insight into the changes to the CAP rules. Clive Carter, Laois Farmer discussed how the changes will affect his farm and Ciaran Collins, Teagasc Crops Specialist gave some examples of the financial impacts of the CAP changes.

Watch webinar recording below

Utilisation of Nutrients Webinar - 20 January | 11:30am

On this webinar which took place on Thursday, 20 January, host Shay Phelan, Teagasc Crops Specialist was joined by James McDonnell, Farm Management Specialist; Liam Phelan, AIB; John Carroll, Glanbia; Don SomersSignpost Programme tillage farmer and his Advisor John Pettit; and Dr Pete Berry, Head of Crop Physiology at ADAS. Mark Plunkett, Soil and Plant Nutrition Specialist also joined the webinar to facilitate the questions and answers session which took place at the end of each presentation.

Dr Pete Berry, Head of Crop Physiology at ADAS gave an insight into the findings of a review of the function and efficacy of crop biostimulants. Dr Berry also gave pointers on how these products worked and the efficacy of the different products that are available on the market today.

Don SomersSignpost Programme tillage farmer and his Advisor John Pettit gave an insight into how Don plans to reduce his fertiliser costs this year.

James McDonnell, Farm Management Specialist met with Liam Phelan, AIB and John Carroll, Glanbia discuss how farmers farmers might finance their crops this season.

Watch webinar recording below

Teagasc Virtual Tillage Conference 2022

The 2022 National Tillage Conference took place virtually, split over two days. The first session took place on Thursday, 13 January and the second took place on Thursday, 27 January.

Session One - Thursday, 13 January  |  11.30am

On Thursday, 13 January at 11.30am, an interactive webinar took place with researchers David Wall, Richie Hackett and Dermot Forristal who provided insights into current research on Managing Crop Nutrition.

As the fertiliser market continues to struggle with elevated prices and supply chain issues, the first session of this year’s Tillage Conference presented research findings that aim to support farmers’ decision making for the 2022 season.

Watch webinar recording below

Topics and speakers included:

  • Soil fertility management - Good for your pocket and long term crop productivity
    David Wall
  • Adjusting N strategies for cereals in 2022 
    Richie Hackett 
  • Fertiliser savings in break crops and by spreading fertiliser evenly 
    Dermot Forristal, Sheila Alves, Shiva Rahimi Tanha

Richie Hackett reviewed actions to reduce fertiliser inputs while assessing crop optimum N rates, based on N and grain prices. Alternative strategies to consider if supplies tighten further were also discussed. David Wall re-appraised the importance of soil testing as the primary action to complete before drawing up a fertiliser plan for 2022. If the plan includes animal manures, which offer potential savings to reduce the impact of high fertiliser prices, their nutrient value must be determined in order to maximise impact and cost-effectiveness. While some consideration can be given to reduce P / K on high index soils, this must be managed correctly to prevent future problems arising from reduced soil fertility. Dermot Forristal dealt with break crops and precise application of fertiliser, particularly urea.

Current fertiliser prices makes it essential to apply fertiliser evenly and where growers are tempted to use less expensive urea-based products, achieving an even spread at wide bout widths, with a lower density product, can be a challenge. Fertiliser quality, spreader design, and particularly the availability and correct use of fertiliser manufacturers test databases, are essential to ensure that fertiliser is spread evenly. In contrast to cereals, oilseed rape is a unique crop that is capable of taking up and efficiently using soil N over the autumn and winter period, reducing the amount of N required in the main growing period.

Oak Park research is currently validating this canopy management approach to N determination. In the current year with some very big canopies post winter, there is indeed scope to save up to 100kg N/ha which is worth €250/ha at 2022 fertiliser prices. Heading into spring 2022, the benefit of incorporating legume break crops (beans, peas, lupins) in rotations will also be highlighted as will their potential to reduce the amount of fertiliser N through the rotation, without compromising crop yields.

Session Two - Thursday, 27 January  |  11.30am

The Virtual Tillage Conference continued with a second session on Thursday, 27 January at 11.30am where researchers and PhD students provided insights into current research on Pest Control Considerations and Further Research Insights. Speakers at the event included Louise McNamaraStephen ByrneVijaya BhaskarStephen Kildea, Elena Grosu, Diana Bucur and Jack Jameson.

Building on session one, the second session of the Tillage Conference (i) focused on considerations for cereal disease control against the backdrop of reduced nutrient management scenarios, (ii) detailed the most up-to-date outputs from the current BYDV and grassweeds surveillance initiatives and (iii) also provided attendees with a brief insight across a selection of research projects presently underway at Oak Park.

Watch webinar recording below

A major vector of Barley Yellow Dwarf Viruses (BYDV), aphids are the most significant pest of cereal crops in Ireland. Louise McNamara and Stephen Byrne detailed for the first time the prevalence of BYDV positive grain aphids plus the level of pyrethroid resistance in aphid populations sampled from the Teagasc suction tower network across 2020 (Carlow) and 2021 (Carlow and Cork). From the data collated to date it is clear that aphid numbers alone do not tell the full story. By combining long-term, local and long distance migratory monitoring with molecular diagnostics, the surveillance programme is enhancing our understanding of BYDV risk and spread, as well as the emergence and development of insecticide resistance. 

The results of a nationwide grassweeds field survey was presented by Vijaya Bhaskar detailing: levels of herbicide resistance in black-grass and Italian ryegrass populations; the associated underlying resistance mechanisms and implications for control methods. The status of herbicide resistance in other species like wild oats, bromes and canary grass were also updated. Diana Bucur outlined findings on the sensitivity of Irish light leaf spot populations to key fungicides used for its control. As light leaf spot continues to be the most economically destructive disease of oilseed rape in Ireland, these findings have implications for its continued control. Elena Grosu presented early data on the potential of a novel bacterium to stimulate plant vigour. While Jack Jameson reported on the performance of crop establishment systems on Irish farms and farmer’s perceptions covering min-till, no-till and plough-based systems; both in growers own fields and in controlled experiments at Oak Park. This project includes a large study of grower’s perceptions of alternative crop establishment systems.

Session two concluded with a focus on considerations for cereal disease control against the backdrop of reduced nutrient management scenarios. Agronomic decisions relating to disease control are critical to the success of cereal crops on farm each season. Stephen Kildea provided an update on ongoing research underpinning these decisions, paying particular attention to the potential implications reduced nutrient management scenarios may have. He also presented an overview of how changes in disease virulence and sensitivity to critical fungicides are impacting disease control decisions and how these maybe mitigated.

Past Events

  • Teagasc Crop Agronomy Update Webinars 
    These webinars which took place on Tuesday, 6th April & 4th May, covered the major agronomy decisions needed over the coming weeks in winter and spring crops.  Researchers, Specialists and advisors were on hand to answer questions throughout the webinar.
  • 2021 Tillage Conference 
    The 2021 National Tillage Conference which took place virtually, split over two days, on Wednesday, 3rd & 17th February 2021.
  • Malting Barley Conference 
    Teagasc Malting Barley Conference in conjunction with Boortmalt, which took place virtually on Tuesday, 23rd February 2021.
  • Spring Tillage Webinars 
    Teagasc researchers, specialists and advisors updated growers on crop agronomy for the coming weeks. These webinars took place on Tuesday, 19th January & Thursday, 21st January.
  • Teagasc Crop Trials Event
    The Teagasc Crop Trials Event took place in Oak Park, Carlow, across two days on Wednesday, 30th June and Thursday, 1st July 2021.  The event consisted of research updates on a range of crops including; spring barley, winter wheat, oilseed rape, rye and beans.