The rainfall warning on Tuesday put a stop to field work across the country. Up to this good progress had been made. Those in the northeast and west managed to stay going for a lot of last week, while those further south got back into fields at the weekend.

Timing is ideal when it comes to reducing the risk of barley yellow dwarf virus, disease and grass weeds. Hopefully the rain does not continue and seedbeds dry out to allow good establishment. Although the short-term weather outlook is not good.

On this week’s tillage pages, Teagasc researcher Dermot Forristal has a great article on establishment systems and whether to move to the plough from min-till or not in a wet year.

He is weary of making the change, particularly where someone has put a lot of work into building a good direct drill system. A spring crop may be the best option in this situation.

Weed control

Pre-emergence on barley and wheat is now a top priority for grass weed control to avoid the build-up of resistance to herbicides. However, weather like we are having presently does not allow for a pre-emergence application in many cases.

It also means many fields are not rolled, so if herbicide is applied, application may be somewhat uneven. If the opportunity does arise, consult with your agronomist, and if black grass is present, Avadex Factor should be in the mix.

This product has to be applied pre-emergence of the crop and weed, as the plant needs to take up the herbicide when it is emerging. However, a spring crop should really be planted where blackgrass is present in a field.


Slugs will take off in current weather, especially after beans, oilseed rape or chopped straw. Keep an eye on crops and carry out threshold tests with a slate and some porridge.

If there are four slugs under the slate after 24 hours then go with pellets. Remember though the slug has to cross over the pellet. Heavy rain will melt away pellets, so check the forecast before heading out.


Plastic collections continue across the country. Remember to keep the receipt for inspections as you will be asked to prove that you disposed of pesticide cans and fertiliser bags or silage plastic in a suitable outlet.

Fertiliser register

Remember, if you want to purchase fertiliser or lime now you must be registered on the National Fertiliser Database with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

If you have fertiliser on your farm at present, then you should have registered the closing stocks onto by 15 October. If you did not register closing stocks, the Department has said that you can continue to do so.

For example, if you have a bag of 10-10-20 or two pallets of CAN at present, then you need to enter this into the system. You do not need to enter stock purchased after 14 September, as the co-op or merchant should have entered this into the database after the purchase.