Good news: We received good news from the Department of Agriculture this week. A derogation from the three-crop rule is being applied for, and bare patches should not be an issue in poor winter crops.

Bare patches: The Irish Farmers Journal has confirmed with the Department that crops with several small bare patches do not need to be resown. Resowing these patches would damage any crop surrounding them and also see seed, which is in short supply, used to fill gaps.

As a result, parcels like this will be deemed eligible for both Basic Income Support for Sustainability (BISS) and Straw Incorporation Measure (SIM) payments.

If the crop shows up on the Department’s system, then the farmer will need to submit photos on AgriSnap, showing the crop, but the crop will be verified and not subject to penalties.

Large patches: Where a crop has not established at all in a whole section of a field, then usually a farmer would need to resow this patch. However, given the current seed shortage, this is not a good option. As we showed in figures last week, resowing reduces overall farm profit as well.

If a farmer decides not to resow, then this area needs to be delineated and a subdivision created. This area should be called ‘fallow’ and will be eligible for the BISS payment, but not for the SIM payment. Alternatively, if the rest of the parcel was in a protein crop, then this area would not be eligible for the protein aid payment.

Imported varieties: With the current seed shortage, there is a considerable amount of spring barley seed being imported into the country.

Here are some of the names of varieties being imported: Florence, Planet, Tilmor, Laser, Feedway, SY Cristalin, LG Diablo, Concerto, Jovita, Soldo, Amidala, Greta, Bizon, RGT Gagarin. There may be some more added to the list.

Make sure to purchase your seed from a trusted supplier.

OSR: A reminder on oilseed rape herbicides. You cannot apply Kerb or AstroKerb at present. The final date for application was 31 January.

Land sprayed with these products later than this will be in breach of regulations, but also this land should not be planted with winter cereals later in the year, as there is a risk that those crops will be affected from herbicide residue.

Look at products like Korvetto in March. You should start to measure the green area index of oilseed rape and check for light leaf spot infection in the coming days and weeks. Early application of Prothioconazole is important to keep light leaf spot under control.

ITLUS: The Irish Tillage and Land Use Society will host its spring seminar on Thursday 22 February on Tom Tierney’s farm in Co Kildare. The theme of the day is ‘Carbon and its place on tillage farms’. Tom will talk about his farming system.

Cover crops, biochar and carbon measurement will all be discussed. If you would like to attend, email The closing date for registration is Thursday 15 February.