Mixed this week, but large amounts of work were done last week in great sunshine. It gave time for straw to be gathered, and straw is in demand, so keep a fair value on it.

There are still spring cereals and beans to be cut and hopefully work gets wrapped up soon.

Where crops are cut after 15 September, the stubbles do not need to be cultivated.

If chopping straw under the Straw Incorporation Measure, this still needs to be cultivated.

If bean straw is being chopped ahead of a winter cereal crop, the ground will benefit from straw incorporation so that a layer of straw is not ploughed down, which could make it difficult for the next crop to establish.

Catch crops

The date for planting catch crops in ACRES has been extended to 30 September. Planting early is best though, so the sooner they go in the more benefit they should be.

If you are cutting hedges, remember that the parcels which are being used for ACRES need to allow hedgerows to grow to 1.8m in height.


The winter barley recommended lists are out and detailed on page 52 of this week's newspaper. Have a good look through the varieties and see what suits your system best.

If you’re planning on sowing early, choose a Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus (BYDV) tolerant or resistant variety. Or better still choose a crop like rye to plant before the winter barley as it has a lower disease risk, so will cope better with early sowing.


Look through the Teagasc costs and return figures for tillage crops here to see what crops can deliver the most for your farm before planting.

After the poor autumn of last season, tillage farmers will be eager to plant in good conditions. This is understandable and I’m not going to tell anyone to hold back on planting, but try and delay it somewhat.

Remember the risks with early planting. There is a chance of increased disease levels, more grass weeds germinating and aphids spreading BYDV.

Try and plant fields with blackgrass in the spring time as it reduces incidences of the weed.

If you have a lot of work to get through and need to start planting early then, as mentioned earlier, try and plant a variety which claims to have BYDV tolerance or resistance. This will reduce the risk of yield loss, but symptoms may still show up in the crop.

Tillage at the ploughing

At next week’s Ploughing championships we’ll have two dedicated tillage panels on Tuesday and Wednesday at 11.30am on both days.

Tuesday will focus on soils with Robbie Byrne from Precision Nutrition and Irish Farmers Journal tillage reporter Conor Kehoe, while Wednesday’s panel will be industry focused with Pat Ryan from Liffey Mills and John Kealy from Tirlán talking about Irish grain and adding value to that grain.

We will also have a demonstration with different cover crops and sowing dates during the Farm Tech Talks each day in the morning and evening time. Call by the stand if you’re about.