Tim Ronaldson – Naas, Co Kildare

Tim was on the home stretch of his hay making campaign when we spoke to him this week. Crops are good this year, averaging around 10 4x4 round bales/ac.

Weather conditions have been good in Kildare so far in June, with just 2mm of rainfall. Temperatures reached 25°C over the weekend, which was perfect hay making weather.

Tim turning hay this week.

This is in marked contrast to May, where 160mm of rain fell on Tim’s farm throughout the month.

His winter barley crops are somewhat thin, but disease pressure has been low. He applied a head spray on 28 May consisting of Imtrex (0.6l/ha), Modem (0.4l/ha) and Protendo (0.4l/ha).

Tim’s winter wheat crops are looking very good. He applied a head spray on 31 May consisting of Aquino (0.65l/ha) and Turret (0.45l/ha). He did notice some yellow tipping on the flag leaf last week and questions if metconazole (Turret) could have been the cause of this. The crop is due to receive a head spray this week.

His winter oat crops are very tall and Tim thinks the cold weather in April has numbed the effects of his two PGR applications. The crop is looking good, however. On 11 June it received a head spray of Tebucur (0.5l/ha), Elatus Plus (0.5l/ha) as well as Epso Top salts (4kg/ha).

His spring beans have responded very well to the heat and are now at hip-height

His spring barley crops look rank and green and will likely receive a PGR this week. Parts of fields suffering from compaction are very clear to see this year, as spring crops growing in these areas are stunted and yellow in appearance.

On 2 June, his spring barley crops received a T2 fungicide of Macfare Xpro (0.7l/ha), Phylgreen (1.1l/ha), as well as Axial Pro (0.5l/ha) in some cases.

His spring beans have responded very well to the heat and are now at hip-height. Similar to spring barley crops, compacted areas of spring bean fields are really showing this year.

On 8 June they received a fungicide application of Tebucur (0.5l/ha) and Globaztar (0.5l/ha), as well as Epson Salts (5kg/ha). Tim has opted not to chop any straw this year.

Thomas Lonergan – Cahir, CoTipperary

When talking to Thomas this week, he was coming to the end of first-cut silage. He rakes for local farmers and contractors with his two Krone 880 rakes. The arrangement works well for first cuts, but can sometimes clash with harvest during second cuts, he says. The weather in Tipperary over the past few weeks has been dry.

Thomas applying a head spray on to his winter wheat crops.

However, with the exception of the weekend, where temperatures reached 26°C, in general conditions have still been cool and fresh.

Thomas’s crops are all coming along well. His winter barley crops are looking good with no blind grains. His winter hybrid rye is looking exceptional. Thomas thought he may have gone too hard on the crop in terms of growth regulation. However, considering how much the crop has grown in the past month, he is glad he did. The crop stands at around 1.8m in height.

His winter wheat crops are also looking good and are due to receive a head spray of Pecari Extra (1l/ha) this week. With warmer temperatures, Thomas was expecting higher levels of disease than are present in the crop.

The crop’s T2 treatment consisted of Questar (1.65l/ha) and Proteb (0.8l/ha), as well as Arizona (1l/ha).

The gate is closed on his winter oat crops, which have come along well. Thomas intends on chopping all of his oat straw this year under the Straw Incorporation Measure. He says that oat straw can be a challenge to save when conditions are poor, so he has taken the decision to chop and incorporate instead.

His spring barley crops are developing fast

The crop recently received a head spray of Elatus Plus (0.5l/ha) and Modum (0.4l/ha). He also added NTS Trio (1l/ha) into the tank and thinks the addition of this nutrient spray will benefit the crop during grain fill.

His spring barley crops are developing fast and recently received a T2 head spray of Imtrex (1l/ha), Decoy (0.5l/ha), as well as Arizona (1.2l/ha). He noted an amount of rhynchosporium in his earlier sown crops.

James Robinson – Newtowncunningham Co Donegal

The weather has improved considerably in Donegal since talking to James last. He says that the weather during the month of May was grim, with around 110mm of rainfall in total. This, combined with the low temperatures, meant crops stood still.

However, with temperatures reaching 24°C in June and the return of dry weather, crops have responded well.

The awns are appear across James's spring barley crops.

“There has been exceptional growth so far in June, conditions have been ideal,” said James.

He noticed a number of blank grains in his Patriot winter barley crops, but none in his Tower variety. He puts this down to the frost in May, but says that, as heads are large this year, the crop may compensate for this.

Disease pressure remained low for these crops all season and James is happy with their potential.

He also thinks there will be a good crop of straw this year and has decided not to chop any crops under the Straw Incorporation Measure.

James’s spring barley crops are now moving along, thanks to the heat and moisture. However, one field of April-sown Splendor barley in particular has suffered due to May weather.

The majority of his other spring barley crops are now ready for a T2 fungicide

The crop was slow to develop and tillered poorly. He thinks that the crop suffered from a zinc deficiency this year and questions if cold weather contributed to this. Once he applied a zinc trace element spray, the crop’s condition improved considerably.

The majority of his other spring barley crops are now ready for a T2 fungicide. He intends on applying Siltra (0.6l/ha) this week and will also include a magnesium and boron trace element spray. He thinks the boron spray assists with grain fill.

Three weeks ago the crop received a T1 of Bontima (1.3l/ha) as well as Phyllgreen, trace elements and a humus-based spray. Despite the return of milder weather, James says disease pressure remains low.

He intends on mowing his GLAS traditional hay meadow at the end of the month and hopes to make hay this year.