Footprint Farmer Pádraig Connery is glad he waited for good ground conditions before sowing his spring crops. Crops came up after 10 days and are now doing well. Most of the ground for the spring crops was ploughed in February, apart from a 4ha field, where Pádraig was waiting on a slurry tank to fill so he could incorporate it at ploughing.

There was a small delay in the middle of the planting season as a result of a break in the power harrow. However, this gave Pádraig a good opportunity to catch up on rolling, as well as top-dressing winter barley and top-dressing silage ground while he waited on the repairs.

Pádraig’s system for his spring crops involves desiccating the cover crop in January, applying slurry and ploughing in February, spreading lime if necessary, levelling with a paddle roller, applying a compound fertiliser, followed by a one-pass and roll and then applying some top-dressing.

KWS Joyau winter barley awning out.

Trace elements, herbicide and aphid spray will be applied to the crops by the end of the week. As of last week, plant counts were standing at 280 to 290 plants/m2. Pádraig has three malting barley contracts to fill this year, each of which are detailed below. Malting barley is an important crop on the farm, as it provides a premium payment.

Integral seed winter barley for Goldcrop.

RGT Planet spring barley

The first is 10ha of RGT Planet for the Malting Company of Ireland via Tirlán. The variety is RGT Planet, which was sown on 19 April at a rate of 200kg/ha.

This crop received 420kg/ha of 10:8:21, with the compound being applied to the seedbed.

It was top-dressed with 420kg/ha of SulCan, which was applied on 2 May.

Laureate spring barley

Laureate spring barley.

There is also 20ha of Laureate spring barley for Boortmalt, through Southern Fuel and Farm Supplies. This crop was sown on 20 April, at a rate of 205kg/ha. It received 325kg/ha of 14:3:22, with the compound being applied to the seedbed. The crop was top-dressed with 325kg/ha of SulCan, with half of the crop top-dressed into the seedbed and the other half applied on 2 May.

Rockway spring barley

Lastly, Pádraig is supplying Irish Distillers via Denn Agri.

To fulfill this contract, he has sown 8ha with the variety Rockway.

The crop was sown on 25 April, at a rate of 205kg/ha, with 400 kg/ha of 10:5:25 applied to the seedbed, along with 150kg/ha of urea. The crop received a top-dressing of 140kg/ha of SulCan on 10 May.