The beet that Séamus redrilled is now in perfect condition. Heavy rain had damaged his crop and he replanted one-third of one of the fields. The remainder of the field is now only 60-70% established.

This made weed control slightly trickier, but herbicides are now complete. Sow thistle was the last thing to be controlled using clopyralid or BeetShield. The beet leaves are now meeting in the rows. The next time a sprayer enters the field will be for fungicide, nitrogen, boron and trace element applications in August.

The gate is now closed on spring barley. Decoy and Priaxor, along with folpet were applied over a two-day period. Many of the crops were at the paintbrush stage, while some of the earlier sown crops had the head emerged by the time conditions allowed for spraying.

Winter barley is looking well, although Séamus did add that a few weeks ago when it was at its heaviest 11mm of rain fell in 18 minutes and he expected some of the crops to be down, but they stayed standing.


Harvest is expected around 10 July. A new winter malting variety – Faye – is progressing very quickly and looks like a good crop, while Electrum and Vessel will not be as quick to ripen.

Séamus grows heritage barley for Waterford Whisky and it is very prone to mildew. He said it reminds him of growing barley years ago, before some of the diseases like rhynchosporium and net blotch were as common. Tern was added to the final spray to keep the mildew under control. This is very tall and no matter what it gets in the line of growth regulation it will most likely fall, Séamus noted.

He thinks his new grain store will just about be ready for harvest. The side sheeting is going up at the minute and the roof, which is insulated, should arrive in two weeks’ time all going well. Away from the tillage fields silage is also being made.

Patrick has been very busy with his livestock and tillage enterprises over the past month. Sheep shearing, silage and spraying were all being carried out last week so it was all hands on deck.

The spring barley received its T2 fungicide on the 15 and 16 June. The majority of crops were at the paintbrush stage, which is ideal to try and prevent ramularia while some of the earlier sown crops were slightly further on.

Patrick sprayed his spring barley with its T2 fungicide last week.

The variety is Planet and Helix, Imtrex and Arizona (folpet), along with N16 were in the mix.

Some of the spring barley planted after grass received plant growth regulator (Terpal) at flag leaf emergence. The crops also received MAGPHOS K to help them along and these crops after grass now look nice and thick and even according to Patrick.

Spring beans received Signum and Basfoliar K (trace elements) at the beginning of flowering and Patrick will probably apply Elatus Era to the crop next week for its final fungicide. The crop has allowed for an alternate grass weed control as Falcon was applied earlier in the season.

Patrick expects his winter barley to come in around 16 or 17 July. He commented that it is on land which received organic manure and is holding really well. He hopes it doesn’t come in any earlier to maximise yield.

Once winter barley is harvested and the straw baled and removed Patrick will be planting cover crops and he will be thinking about mixes and preparing machinery to be ready to go as soon as possible after harvest. Not only does an early sowing date help to increase the yield of cover crops, it is now essential to comply with nitrates rules which require stubble cultivation within 14 days of harvest.

Michael was applying the second growth regulator to his oats when we spoke on Monday.

Ceraide and Medax Max were the products of choice as the spring oats headed for flag leaf. Some fields were slightly behind this and Michael will wait a day or two before applying growth regulator to these crops.

Spring oats and spring barley look very well in general apart from a few headlands which are suffering from water damage. Some were planted after potatoes. One headland where the plants have struggled to grow will be planted with oats soon to keep a cover on the soil.

Any weaker headlands received Epso Combitop at 2kg/ha in recent days.

Michael noted that about 100mm of rain fell in the month of May in his area.

Spring barley

The majority of his spring barley is thick and lush and Michael noted it looks lovely. There is very little disease pressure and an odd awn is just starting to emerge so it will receive its T2 in a week or so.

There is very little barley yellow dwarf virus present in the crop.

Michael Grant's spring barley.

It was planted on 22 April and in the bad weather of May Michael didn’t spray an aphicide.

The T3 fungicide was applied to the winter wheat almost two weeks ago. Proline and Chamane were in the mix for this application.

Winter barley is looking well and is a heavy crop at present which Michael said could do without rain as he fears it could fall.

The crows are starting to creep into the crop at present.

A few wild oats need to be pulled in the winter barley in the coming days. It is destined for malting.

Michael has some reseeding to do and had the seedbed prepared last week when rain came so he will hopefully get this job done once the ground has dried out.