Kenny Dunne, Eglinton, Co Derry

Kenny's winter barley crops have come through the winter in good condition.

It has been a mixed bag of weather in the northwest over the past few weeks, explains Kenny. Soil temperatures are down and there has been plenty of rainfall, meaning many growers in the area have yet to complete spring sowing.

He aims to commence sowing later this week, starting with Hexham spring wheat.

The crop will be sown in his lighter land, which is already ploughed. Kenny prepares the ground using his 6m Lemken power harrow and drills with his 3m Lemken Solitair 9 seed and fertiliser drill.

He will drill the crop at 350 seeds/m2 along with 375kg/ha of 18:15:14. The fields will be rolled after. Next, he plans to move onto spring oats and barley.

Winter crops

His winter barley crops are looking very well. This year, he is growing the KWS varieties Tardis, Hawking, Orwell, Irina and Infinity. The crops have been brought up to 100kg N/ha and he will finish these at 150-162kg N/ha.

As Kenny is on 30m tramlines, he switched back to using CAN this year instead of urea. The crops also received 40kg/ha of DAP and 100kg/ha of potash earlier in the year.

So far, they have received one PGR of Lantern (0.1l/ha), a T0 fungicide of Kayak (0.5l/ha), as well as trace elements.

His Graham, Extase and Dawson winter wheat crops are also looking excellent. Having received the same P and K as his barley, they have been brought up to 75kg N/ha so far. He plans to bring them to 187kg N/ha.

They have also received a PGR of Adjust at 1.25l/ha. His winter oilseed rape has been brought to 187kg N/ha and received a PGR/fungicide of Inception (2l/ha). Kenny has been busy bagging and delivering the last of his seed orders this spring. All of the cereal crops he grows are destined for seed.

He cleans and certifies the seed in his own plant before dressing and bagging for delivery in the spring. It has been a busy two months, he explains.

Eamonn Cogan, Slane, Co Meath

The weather in Slane has been excellent over the past few weeks, with little rain, explains Eamonn. Land is dry and some moisture at this stage would benefit crops, he said. Temperatures have been cool however, which meant timely winter crop PGRs proved tricky.

His Saki, Conros and Graham winter wheat crops are up-to-date with fertiliser. His winter wheat crops, along with barley and oats, received 370kg/ha of 0.7.30 earlier in spring.

This year, Eamonn is using OMEX liquid nitrogen as well as granular urea. The crops are currently sitting at 170-180kg N/ha. The crops also received a PGR of K2 at 1l/ha and Medax Max at 0.4kg/ha, as well as Mantrac and Zintrac trace elements. He has been watching the crops closely to see if they required a To fungicide.

While there is plenty of septoria present in the lower leaves, there remains no signs of yellow rust.

His winter oilseed rape crop’s nitrogen programme has been completed. The crop is sitting at between 170-180kg N/ha. To date, the crops have received tebuconazole, EPSO combitop and liquid boron, and are currently in flower.

Eamonn applying a PGR to winter wheat.

Eamonn’s Belfry, Tardis and Tower winter barley crops are currently up to date. So far, the crops received 172kg N/ha of liquid nitrogen and urea. Some crops are now finished, while others will be brought up to 200kg N/ha, depending on the ground.

They also received a PGR application of 1l/ha of K2 and 0.4kg/ha of Medax Max, along with trace elements in March. The crops are nearly due a T1 fungicide of Trinity 250 (0.5l/ha) and Comet (0.5l/ha).

Eamonn’s winter oats will be brought up to 120kg N/ha this week. The crop received its first fungicide last week of Tern (0.5l/ha) and Talius (0.15l/ha) to treat mildew.

It also received a PGR of K2 (1l/ha) and Medax Max (0.4kg/ha) as well as trace elements. Spring sowing is now complete, more on this next month.

George Byrne, Bennekerry, Co Carlow

George sowing the last of his spring barley this week.

Once the weather settled in Carlow, conditions were excellent for getting spring work done, explains George. Temperatures are increasing and crops and grass are growing, he says. When talking to George this week, he was coming to the end of spring cereal sowing.

Ploughing began for spring cereals in February, after he spread slurry and farmyard manure. Spring bean drilling began around 15 March.

He drilled the variety Lynx at 235kg/ha. All of his bean crops were established by minimum tillage using a a McConnell discaerator and 3m Vaderstad Rapid S drill. He sealed the fields after drilling with Nirvana at 4l/ha.

Next, George moved onto Duncan spring wheat at 196kg/ha. Some of this was sown in land following grass. He applied 370kg/ha of 18.6.12 onto the seedbed before drilling.

After this, he moved onto Planet spring barley which was drilled at 196kg/ha. The crops received 430kg/ha of 18.6.12, as well as 123kg/ha of muriate of potash before drilling. Next he will move onto maize and beet drilling. More on this next month.

Winter barley

This year, George is growing Belfry, Armadillo and Electrum winter barley for seed. The crops are due to receive their last split of nitrogen in the coming days and will be brought up to between 175-187kg N/ha. The crops received 430kg/ha of 10.5.25+S earlier in the season. He says his lighter soils tend to require more sulphur.

The crops have so far received A PGR of Cycocel, but will receive Moddus this week. George did apply a T0 fungicide of Proline a number of weeks ago along with trace elements, however the crops are due to receive their T1 this week. In general, he is happy with how the crops are looking.

He is growing Graham winter wheat this year and the crops are heading for GS31. To date, they have received an application of Broadway Star and will be due a T1 fungicide and PGR next week. The crop has now been brought up to 115kg N/ha.