The heavy rain in Dublin over the weekend was needed, especially for spring crops, says Derek. April was a brilliant month for getting work done, but cool temperatures held crops back slightly. The arrival of mild, growthy conditions has had an impact on crops, he says.

The awns are peeping in his Valarie winter barley crops while his Cassia and Tardis varieties are slightly behind. His winter barley crops have received two out of a planned three-spray fungicide programme. The T1 consisted of Variano Xpro at 1.3l/ha as well as Axial Pro at 0.7l/ha for wild oats. Last week the crops also received an application of Cerone at 0.5l/ha, Starane at 0.3l/ha as well as the fungicide Trinity at 0.25l/ha.

Winter wheat

Derek’s winter wheat crops received their T1 fungicide this week consisting of Ascra Xpro (1.25l/ha) as well as Axial Pro (0.7l/ha), Cycocel (0.4l/ha), Moddus (0.2l/ha). He spotted some rust in his Bennington and Graham varieties so he added in Comet at 0.4l/ha. He intends to bring his first wheat up to 210kg N/ha and his second wheat up to 230kg N/ha in the coming days. His winter oilseed rape remains in flower and will be due a fungicide during petal fall.

Derek's winter wheat enjoying the sunshine.

His winter oats received a PGR application of Ceriade (1.4l/ha) at the start of April. He also added in Flexity (0.25l/ha) for mildew and Human trace elements (1.6l/ha).

At the end of April the crops received K2 PGR (1.4l/ha), Elatus Era (0.6l/ha) for crown rust as well as manganese trace elements. The last of the nitrogen will be spread on the crop this week, bringing it to 168kg N/ha.

Potato planting finished this week. His early Queens are just emerging and welcomed the weekend’s rain. They received a herbicide application of Sencorex (0.75l/ha) as well as Round Up Gold (1.2l/ha). His onions received a herbicide application of Wing P (3l/ha), Defy (3l/ha) as well as Emerger (0.5l/ha).

The 13mm of rain which fell on Iain’s farm over the weekend was welcome, he says. There has been little rain in Down since the start of April and while crops weren’t significantly under pressure, they have visibly responded to the moisture.

Iain's Kingswinter winter barley with awns emerging.

His Isobel spring oats are at the four-leaf stage and have been brought up to 75kg N/ha. Around 40kg N/ha was applied in the seedbed while the rest was applied as liquid N when the tramlines were visible. The weekend’s rain resulted in a flush of weeds so Iain applied Inka SX (60g/ha) as well as CMPP (2l/ha) to the crops. He may have to follow up again in certain fields if potato volunteers become a problem. His Tiffany spring beans are coming on well despite the frosty nights and lack of rain during April.

Winter crops

Iain’s winter barley received a T1 fungicide spray last month of Siltra (0.5l/ha) as well as the broadleaved weed spray Gallifrey 3 (0.4l/ha). He also applied Axial Pro at 0.8l/ha for wild oats. The awns are emerging on his early sown Mountain winter barley while the flag leaf is fully out on his Idylic and Kingsbarn crops which are soon due a T2. All crops received 40kg/ha of liquid urea plus sulphur last week.

He dissolves urea granules himself in three 1,000l IBC tanks connected to a circulating pump on the tractor. The water is circulated around an exhaust manifold to heat the water and help the granules dissolve. The solution is applied to crops using his sprayer fitted with raindrop nozzles. He says the liquid nitrogen gives a more even spread and is better suited to dry conditions.

Iain’s Costello winter wheat seed crops received a T1 fungicide of Ascra at 1l/ha as well as Galaxy at 1l/ha last week. It also received Monolith for volunteer barley and oats two weeks ago.

His Extase varieties won’t receive a T1 fungicide as they remain relatively clean. All wheat crops received 40kg N/ha last week.

Temperatures rose in Cork over the past 10 days which has help crops develop. However, at the time of talking to Daniel, very little rain had fallen on his farm. All crops could now do with some moisture, particularly beet, some of which was only drilled within the past two weeks. This year he is growing Alisha sugar beet and Magnum, Gustea and Enermax fodder beet.

He ploughs the ground, cultivates with a 6m tine harrow, power harrows twice and drills with a six-row accord drill on 23in spacing. He applied 8.5.18 at a rate of 1300kg/ha before power harrowing. The first beet herbicide will be due in around two weeks but he is hoping for more moisture in the meantime.

Spring crops

Despite the dry weather, Daniel’s spring oats, barley and wheat are coming along well, the most advanced crops are beginning to tiller. The crops are now due a herbicide treatment consisting of Cameo Max (45g/ha) and Hurler (0.7l/ha). He will also add the aphicide Ninja (0.125ml/ha) into the tank. Some of his spring barley and oat crops received either Wolftrax or Mantrac for manganese.

Daniel top dressing spring crops this week.

All of the spring cereals have been brought up to 112kg N/ha. Daniel will bring his spring oats up to 137kg N/ha, his spring barley up to 156kg N/ha and his spring wheat up to 187kg N/ha by the end of the week.

Winter barley

The awns are beginning to emerge on some of his winter barley crops. This year he will use a two-spray fungicide programme on his winter barley crops. On 5 April the crops received a T1 fungicide of Decoy (0.6l/ha) as well as Comet (0.7l/ha). Daniel also added in the Axial Pro (0.45l/ha) for wild oats as well as the PGR spray of Cycocel (1.8l/ha). The crops have been brought up to around 206kg N/ha.

He has noted BYDV in most of his winter barley varieties which he hasn’t seen in many years.