Con Barry

Lixnaw, Co Kerry

If rain doesn’t arrive by the weekend, crops will come under pressure, says Con.

While some moisture was forecast at the time of writing this, it remains to be seen if it will be enough to alleviate the dry conditions in north Kerry.

With that said, conditions have been excellent for getting work done this spring, says Con, and land is in great shape.

Con will finish planting the last of his maize this week.

He will finish planting his 72ac of maize this week. Spring cereal sowing was completed over two weeks ago.

His Gangway spring barley crops were sown at a rate of 180kg/ha, along with 336kg/ha of 10:10:20.

Crops are now at the two-leaf stage and those sown in very dry ground will receive an application of manganese and zinc. He plans to bring the crops to 160kg/ha across two split applications.

His Talisker spring wheat was sown at 188kg/ha, along with 336kg/ha of 10:10:20. Crops on dryer ground will also receive an application of manganese and zinc. The crop will be brought to 160kg N/ha.

Con’s Isobel spring oats were sown at a rate of 188kg/ha, along with 336kg/ha of 10:10:20. He plans to bring the crop up to 137kg N/ha.

Winter crops looking good

Con is happy with the progress of his winter crops. So far, his Bennington and Graham winter wheat crops have been brought to 160kg N/ha.

They didn’t receive a T0 fungicide this year, due to low disease pressure and have received just one PGR so far.

The third-last leaf is nearly fully out, so they will receive a T1 of Ascra Xpro shortly.

Con’s SY Performer winter hybrid rye has jumped out of the ground. He is taking no chances with the PGR programme this year and applied CeCeCe (1l/ha) twice as well as Optimus at 0.3l/ha.

As soon as maize planting is completed, Con has 200ac of silage ready to be harvested.

All going well, it will be harvested by the weekend.

Padraig Kehoe

Enniscorthy, Co Wexford

Around 5mm of rain has fallen in Enniscorthy during April.

While more is needed, it has been beneficial to crops, says Padraig.

As all of his crops are established via minimum-tillage, this has helped to conserve moisture.

Padraig spreading the last split of nitrogen onto winter oats last week.

Spring sowing was finished two weeks ago in perfect conditions. All of his spring barley crops are now up. The later-sown malting barley crops were top-dressed this week to bring them to 144kg N/ha for brewing and 131kg N/ha for distilling.

Padraig’s earlier-sown spring barley crops are now at the three- to four-leaf stage. They are due to receive a herbicide this week, but he only intends on applying an aphicide to the later-sown crops. Where possible, Padraig tries to avoid using an insecticide.

His Lynx spring beans were sown a month ago and are coming along well, but he did note a small amount of notching in the crop. He doesn’t think levels are high enough to spray yet, however.

His winter crops are looking very good, he says. The third-last leaf is now emerging on his winter wheat crops. Padraig noted that his Astronomer crops are around a week behind his Graham crops. There is a small amount of septoria present in older leafs. He intends to bring it up to 219kg N/ha, which should complete its nitrogen programme.

Two weeks ago, the crop received a PGR application of Moddus (0.15l/ha) and CeCeCe (1.25/ha). This week, they will receive a T1 fungicide of Lentima (1.4l/ha), as well as another application of Moddus and CeCeCe.

His hybrid winter rye is developing rapidly and has been brought up to 180kg N/ha. The crop has received its T1 fungicide of Comet (0.6l/ha) and Decoy (0.5l/ha), as well as Moddus (0.25/ha) and CeCeCe (1.25l/ha).

His winter oats received their T1 fungicide yesterday of Opera (1l/ha), as well as CeCeCe (1/ha) and Moddus (0.25l/ha). He also added Mantrac (0.5l/ha) into the tank mix. The crop has been finished at 112kg N/ha.

Iain McMordie

Downpatrick, Co Down

Rain is needed in Downpatrick, says Iain. Since 28 March, there has been around 0.4mm of rain on his farm.

While winter crops are holding up ok, his spring crops, particularly his spring oats, need moisture.

He has had to adjust his crop nutrition programme to cope with the dry weather. Instead of broadcasting the final splits of granular nitrogen on to crops, Iain is now dissolving urea in water and molasses and applying this via his sprayer.

Iain's spring oats are in need of moisture.

He says that in this dry weather, crop uptake of nitrogen is improved considerably. He intends to finish his winter barley crops this week and will bring them to 185kg N/ha.

The crops are looking clean, but around 40ac were scorched after applying the T1 fungicide in cold weather. On 16 April, the crop received Siltra (0.5l/ha), as well as Moddus (0.15l/ha) and Adjust (1l/ha). Iain intends to apply an SU and Starane to knock out cleavers and groundsel on some crops.

The cool nights have meant that he has had to be cautious with spray timings this season.

The frosty nights have also prevented Iain from applying a spring herbicide on his winter wheat crops. So far, the crops are clean and green and he has managed to avoid yellow rust. He did note that his Graham is a little behind his Extase crops, however. So far, the crops have received 185kg N/ha. Iain plans to apply a T1 fungicide soon, consisting of AscraXpro. His Exstar hybrid winter oilseed rape is progressing well and is nearly in full flower.

His Tiffany spring beans are coming along well. The crop was direct drilled at a depth of around 3in, meaning the roots have access to plenty of moisture. His spring oats, on the other hand, are in real need of rain.

The crops are sown in fertile ground, which has helped them get off to a good start. So far, the crops have received around 40kg N/ha. However, if rain doesn’t arrive soon, Iain plans to apply dissolved urea on to the crop.