Rain continues to keep soil moisture levels topped up to make field work difficult. This week’s tillage pages look at options for planting for 2024. With seed in short supply, many are advising to persist with planting winter crops.

Crows will pose a threat to establishment at this time of the year, but maybe a dry spell will come in January and allow winter wheat to be planted. In good conditions it might surprise you on yield.

Crop diversification

We have not received any response from the Department of Agriculture in relation to crop diversification, or the two and three-crop rule as it is more commonly known.

As winter cereal area is expected to be down in 2024, after a drop of about 35,000ha in 2023, it would make a lot of sense to receive a derogation from this rule for the 2024 season.

As cereal seed is in short supply, there are a lot of reasons to give farmers some breathing space on this rule.


Glyphosate was renewed last week, and while full details have yet to emerge, it looks like pre-harvest use is no longer allowed. This poses an issue for oilseed rape crops, but for now the news is positive that the product has been renewed for 10 years.

Green cover can be sprayed with a non-selective herbicide from 1 December, but only where land has been cultivated.

Land left as a habitat for birds over winter cannot be sprayed or cultivated until 1 February, unless a crop is going to be established straight away. Ploughing can also commence from 1 December on land which was cultivated after harvest.

Unharvested crops

Farmers with unharvested crops have until Friday, 24 November to apply for the unharvested crops payment announced by the Department of Agriculture last week.

Applications can be found on the Department’s website and should be emailed to The form is simple to fill out with LPIS numbers and the area which remains to be harvested.

All parcels applied for under the scheme will be inspected. Farmers cannot disc or incorporate these crops until after inspection has taken place. It is also advisable to take pictures of these crops to have for your own records.

ITLUS conference

The Irish Tillage and Land Use Society’s (ITLUS) winter conference takes place at the Clanard Court Hotel in Athy, Co Kildare on Thursday, 7 December. Registration is from 9.15am and the conference gets underway at 10am.

The event will hear from Teagasc’s Fiona Thorne on the economic outlook for tillage farms, agricultural meteorologist Klara Finkele and psychologist Dr Eddie Murphy, will be joined by farmers Harold Kingston and David Kerr.

There will be talks on gene editing and greenhouse gas emissions reduction, biological farming and value-added grains.

You can book your place at the conference by emailing The fee to members is €50 and includes lunch, tea and coffee. The fee for non-members is €80 and student non-members is €30.