Stuart Fitzgerald has the gate closed on all of his crops now and is waiting for harvest to start in the coming days.

He might be cutting some winter barley at the weekend, but says the combine will be rolling next week if the weather allows.

KWS Joyau is one of the earlier varieties of winter barley and is coming in quicker than others. LG Casting and KWS Tardis are the other two winter barley varieties on the farm.

Stuart also noted that his winter barley after oilseed rape is slower to ripen than fields in their second year of a cereal crop, showing the value of rotation on the farm.

Crows are taking a shine to crops at present, even the six-row barley which they are not meant to be fond of.

A few small bits of winter barley went down with the recent heavy rain, but all other crops stayed standing.

Since we last spoke, the spring barley received its final fungicide of folpet and Macfare with some trace elements which included salts, Dia-Life and Triple Ten. Dia-Life is a product containing Silica. Silica can help to improve straw strength and Stuart applied it to a number of crops this year. Triple Ten contains nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, along with other trace elements and amino acids.

Spring beans

Spring beans received an application of trace elements about two weeks ago including salts, seaweed and Dia-Life. Last weekend the spring beans received their final fungicide – Velogy Era at 0.6l/ha. The chocolate spot that Stuart mentioned when we last spoke was under control.

Spring oats are looking really well and Stuart is really happy with this crop. They received a final fungicide of Velogy Era along with Dia-Life, salts, seaweed and soluble potassium sulphate.

Stuart is very happy with crops at present and sees good potential in them.

Eamonn is looking forward to the harvest. At the start of this week he said the sheds are clean, the dryer has been serviced and they are ready to go.

The winter barley is still 10 to 14 days away from harvest. The first-sown crops of Belfry will probably be first to ripen.

Some of Eamonn Cogan's two-row winter barley.

Eamonn will spray off some headlands, but only where necessary. He is making a plan on this at present. A small bit of winter barley went down on the overlaps but the remainder of the crops have stayed standing.

Some of Eamonn Cogan's six-row winter barley.

The oilseed rape is also about 10 days away from desiccation. A pod sticker will be added to the mix.

The varieties all have the pod shatter resistance gene, but Eamonn noted that there is a good price for oilseed rape at present and applying the pod sticker is an extra insurance.

Looking at the winter wheat, Eamonn is happy enough with how the disease control programmes worked out. One variety, Saki, did need a strong T3 in the form of Revystar to keep Septoria at bay.

Saki has Cougar is its heritage and this variety saw its resistance to Septoria break down. The application of Revystar looks to have worked as Eamonn said the Septoria stayed under the flag leaf in the crop.

He has been looking at other varieties recently and thinks Graham will make up a good percentage of the winter wheat crop in 2023, but a few of the newer varieties will be tried.

Stubble cultivation rules

In relation to the new stubble cultivation rules, Eamonn said they will carry out the work on the farm and get on with it, but he does not see any great benefit in it.

The farm is in winter crops and they could disc a field and plough it two weeks later. He added that stubble cultivation is practised on the farm already in many parts for grass weeds and other reasons, but that this is adding extra workload in a confined time period at a busy time of the year.

Kenny is struggling to get final sprays on crops.

Rain and wind has made it extremely difficult to get out with the sprayer. He said crops haven’t been able to dry and then if it stops raining the wind stops the work.

Kenny only got his spring wheat sprayed on Monday night. It received Revystar, folpet, Comet and foliar potash. It is a month since the spring wheat was sprayed so it needed to be sprayed to remain protected.

Kenny is finishing the spraying on spring barley. Rain has delayed application.

Only about 10% of the spring barley crop has been sprayed with its T2 spray. It is receiving Proline, Comet, folpet and foliar potash.

Spring barley is also coming near the end of the protection window it received from its T1 spray.

However, Kenny noted crops are still clean. He is hoping to get out with the rest of the spring barley applications once weather allows.


Kenny is a big fan of nutrition on his crops and he thinks this is allowing him to cut back on rates of fungicides applied and to keep his plants healthier. Plant growth regulators have helped crops to stand in the recent bad weather and Kenny is happy with the programme he used as he has seen many crops down in recent days.

Winter barley is two to three weeks away from harvest and Kenny is unsure of how it will do, but is not expecting a bumper crop. He grows all two-row winter barley varieties.

His winter oilseed rape is also about two to three weeks from harvest and Kenny plans to apply a pod sticker soon. He is really happy with his winter oilseed rape crop.

His winter wheat is also looking very well. He said it is the best of all of his crops. It received Proline and Sakura at the T3 fungicide.