Another season begins: No sooner has one crop season finished then another has already begun.
Winter oilseed rape and catch crops are planted and now we move towards rye, barley, wheat and oats while there are still some spring bean and rape crops to be harvested.
Tillage areas received variable amounts of rain over the past two weeks, with Met Éireann amounts ranging from 3.1mm at Dunsany to 56.7mm at Moorepark.
Most parts of the country have now received more than 60% of their long-term average rainfall amounts, but Athenry, Johnstown Castle, Malin Head, Gurteen and Shannon are below that percentage.
Roches Point, Cork Airport, Moorepark, Mullingar and Casement are all currently above 65% of their long-term average annual rainfall level to-date.
Reports from the spring bean harvest remain variable, range from 1.5 to 2.9t/ac leaving many growers disappointed.
Stubble work: It is great to see an increasing amount of stubble work taking place to get weeds and volunteer seeds germinated ahead of the planting season.
There has been a good deal of growth on stubbles that were cultivated early and these should ideally be shallow cultivated again now to kill these plants and the diseases they may carry while encouraging yet more seeds to germinate.
With good harvesting conditions following a good dry summer, this could be a good year to try some min-till planting on cultivated ground.
Have the stale seedbed done in advance, possibly cultivate more deeply just ahead of your drill and sow using your standard drilling system.
Planting: The time for oilseed rape planting has passed, leaving crops planted from now on more risky, but they could still turn out well if you still need to plant, especially in the south.
After rape, the next safest crop option seems to be rye, but don’t start growing it with hundreds of acres.
Make sure you have someone to buy it before you plant. It seems that it can go in safely from about this weekend.
As we move beyond that into other cereals, it is important to remember that “later is safer” but there is a limit to the validity of that statement.
In some years, “later” could mean it does not get sown, so there must be some practical balance between early and late where there are big acreages to be planted.
As we move into week 38, it is inevitable that there will be some planting of winter wheat and barley. Selecting a BYDV-tolerant variety like KWS Joyau will lessen the risk from this virus, but it will do nothing to reduce pressure from grassweeds.
Stale seedbeds and later planting dates are the only ways to help reduce pressure in these fields.
Catch crops: While the 15 September deadline has passed for GLAS, catch crops might still be planted as soil temperatures remain quite high. The main thing is to get them planted as soon as possible, because the bigger the bulk grown the greater the benefit.