It’s been a long winter and a delayed start to spring sowing and winter crop management, but we must put our best foot forward and maximise yield from crops from now on.

This year’s Crop Protection Magazine will be published with the Irish Farmers Journal this Thursday, 11 April, and should equip you for the spraying season ahead. As always, we have the lists of crop protection products, which include almost 300 products this year across cereals, oilseed rape, legumes and potatoes.

Spring barley is going to be the main crop this season and Tom McCabe has a run down on spring barley disease control, focusing on fungicide mixes and diseases which are becoming more challenging like net blotch. Check out the recommended lists to see what varieties fall down on certain diseases or on straw strength.

Steven Kildea looks at wheat disease control. However, his big focus in this year’s magazine is on potato blight and the increasing issue of resistance to fungicides.

Rules to follow

The sustainable use of pesticides regulation is on its way back to the drawing board, but there are still plenty of rules to follow. The Department of Agriculture and Teagasc give a detailed description of sprayer testing and tell you when your test is due next.

Ed Straw reminds everyone of the importance of personal protective equipment and this should be read by all. Ed also highlights the need to examine pesticide formulations more closely. Often, we focus on the active ingredient, but Ed thinks the formulations could be doing some of the harm.

VJ Bhaskar provides an excellent guide to identifying grass weeds. It is a must read for all and keep it close to hand when trying to identify weeds on the farm. We also have a guide to glyphosate rates for grass weeds which has come about from work in the glasshouse by Teagasc.

Pick your copy on Thursday and keep the magazine safe for the season for record keeping and deciding on rates.

This year we also have a new online tool to search for products online so you can search on the go. Subscribers to the Irish Farmers journal online can check out the Crop Protection Search Engine at this link here from Thursday, 11 April.