The gates have now been closed on all this week’s growers’ winter barley crops. However, spring crops in particular could now do with some rain. Stephen Robb talks to growers from Galway, Laois and Wexford about the potential of these crops
Rainfall since 25 April 2019
Co Galway: 41.7mm
Co Laois: 45.7mm
Co Wexford: 32.8mm
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Ground has hardened around Chris’s fodder beet. The crop could now do with some moisture.
Growth has been minimal over the past few weeks in Galway explains Chris, and crops could do with some moisture at this stage. Around 42mm of rain has fallen on Chris’s farm since talking with him last and while there are good levels of moisture within the soil, the surface is hard and baked.
Some of the earlier sown beet ground is capped, due to heavy rain shortly after sowing. As a result, this beet has just emerged. Chris applied a T1 herbicide spray of Betanol maxxPro (0.3l/ha), Debut (18g/ha) and Fenzar (0.3l/ha) and will follow up with a T2 as soon as temperatures improve. There are reports of mangle fly damage in beet crops close to him but his crop remains clean. He generally runs a three-spray herbicide programme. The last of the beet was sown on 5 May and has yet to emerge.
His spring wheat is quite advanced and has developed a good rooting structure. The crop received a Sonis (0.15l/ha) Foxtrot (0.6l/ha), Calibre Max (90g/ha)Pixxaro (0.4l/ha) and Spavario (50ml/ha) on May 18. The crop is very clean so far, helped by the dry weather. The crop is due its T1 this week. The crop was brought up to 180kg N/ha. His spring barley has been slower to develop and remains around GS20. The crop received Sonis (0.15l/ha) and Spavario (50ml/ha). The crop is slightly under pressure as a result of dryness Chris explains. The crop was brought up to 150kg N/ha. He is happy with the performance of his winter barley and the crop received a head spray of Diamant (0.75l/ha) and Deuce (0.75l/ha) last week. He applied Corbel (0.4l/ha) on a small amount of the crop a number of weeks ago, as there was some mildew present in low ground. The crops have recovered well from the chemical scorch, which they suffered from last month.
Disease pressure also remains low on his winter wheat. The crop received a T2 flag leaf spray on 16 May of Librax (1.8l/ha), Bravo (1l/ha), Globaztar (0.5l/ha) as well as Medax Max (0.3kg/ha).
Paul’s winter barley crops remain relatively clean with the exception BYDV.
Crops in Ballybrittas are on the edge of seriously requiring rain Paul remarks, as he explains that just 46mm of rain has fallen since speaking to him last. Despite high day time temperatures being high,nights have been cool, meaning crop development has been slow. However, the opportunity to get work done has been great explains Paul and all sprays were applied on time.
Paul has never seen winter barley crops so slow to head out before. While he is happy with the progress of the crop, around 5-7% of the crops are showing yellow leafs as a result of BYDV. There is no obvious signs of stunting, so Paul wonders what the yield implications of the virus infection will be. With the gate now closed on the crop, he won’t have long to wait to find out.
Last week, the crop received its head spray. His hybrid crops received chlorothalonil (1l/ha), Venture Extra (0.75l/ha) and Priaxor (0.75l/ha). His two row crops received chlorothalonil (1l/ha) and Ceriax (1.8l/ha). He added 2l/ha of a magnesium trace element spray into both tank mixes to assist with grain fill.
Disease pressure has been very low in both varieties explains Paul, with the exception of BYDV. Paul applied a holding spray onto the crop a number of weeks ago, as there was a long interval between his main fungicide timings. Stem strength appears to be particularly good this year, and Paul attributes this to the lack of any burst of growth due to low temperatures throughout the season.
The crop now needs sunshine and moisture to help it achieve its potential, he explains.
His winter wheat crops are looking well and are dark green in colour. His flag leaf spray was slightly later than anticipated on account of slower crop growth. He applied a Librax (1.8l/ha) and chlorothalonil (1l/ha) when the flag leaf was fully out. He also applied a Corbel (0.4l/ha) as there was a small amount of mildew present in some crops.
His crops now appear relatively free of yellow rust.
Vivion’s hybrid winter barley remains clean to the base.
After a deluge of rain in mid-April, ground quickly dried out in Saltmills leading to a cap developing on the surface of many of Vivion’s fields. Since then, just 33mm of rain has fallen and all crops could now do with some rain.
Vivion explains that the top inch of his earlier sown potato drills are solid, but there’s plenty of moisture within the drill.
Potato planting was finished last Tuesday in good conditions. This was not without its challenges, explains Vivion. He had to re-plough potato ground, which was first ploughed six weeks ago, in order to get it adequately dried out.
The crop was sprayed with a pre-emerge herbicide of Shotput (0.5kg/ha), Defy (3l/ha) and Emerger (2.5l/ha). He appears to have got a good kill in his crop and the potatoes are pushing through.
Some of his exposed spring barley is beginning to show signs of stress as a result of the capping on and dry weather. However, despite this, most of the crops are looking reasonably well.
Vivion is noticing a big difference in his spring crops which have followed cover crops grazed by 600 lambs over winter. The combination of roots, biomass, and manure has led to the establishment of a very thick, green, healthy looking crop, Vivion explains.
He dialled back total nitrogen by 6-13 kg N/ha as a result. The rest of his spring barley crops were brought up to 150kg N/ha.
Earlier this week, the crop received a T1 of Decoy (0.4l/ha) and Comet (0.4l/ha) as well as Medax Max (350g/ha) and Axial Pro (0.5l/ha).
His Craft winter malting barley has fully headed out with a high number of grains, although the crop is somewhat thin.
The crop received a head spray last week of Ceriax (1.6l/ha) and Bravo (1l/ha). His hybrid barley also received a head spray of Ceriax (1.83l/ha) and Spriodor (1l/ha) as well as a trace element spray last week.
The flag leaf is 60% out in his winter wheat and will be due a T2 next week. The crop is clean but appears to be somewhat backward.
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