Wet weather continues to dominate. Unfortunately, the time for planting winter wheat is slipping away. You can plant up until the middle of February if conditions allow, but there is a lot of drying to be done on land.

As a result, you should start planning for what other crops you could plant in its place. Seed will need to be ordered. Is there a farmer nearby who would like a forage crop grown? If there is, now is the time of the year to put an agreement in place on planting and payment.

Mind your soil

During this wet weather it is important to mind our soils. There may be livestock farmers looking to get rid of slurry, but conditions are not appropriate for spreading and the slurry will not be used efficiently if spread at this time of the year. We have no further details on the 70% grant for slurry storage, but will keep you informed. If you are importing slurry, testing it could be a good idea. Slurry needs to be agitated to test so do not do so unless it is safe to take a sample. Do not allow slurry to be put down on your maps unless you are receiving the product. I am now hearing that some tillage farmers are charging livestock farmers a significant gate fee on slurry. It makes some sense as it is cheaper to pay a gate fee than to rent more land.

Ploughing and spraying

Stubbles that were left uncultivated as a habitat for the birds can be cultivated and sprayed with herbicides from 1 February. The weather isn’t suiting this, but you can move once conditions allow.

Oilseed rape herbicides: We are now into February, so remember that some herbicides cannot be used in the next few weeks. Astrokerb and Kerb Flo herbicides for winter oilseed rape cannot be applied from 1 February.

Fertiliser planning

It is hard to plan for fertiliser when you are unsure what crops you will have. If you have in date soil samples or have got your soil sample results back, then start working on your nutrient management plan so you can work out your fertiliser requirements.


I am hearing differing reports on seed prices. Most merchants are balancing out the price of seed between imported and Irish. I heard one report of spring barley seed at €1,000/t, which is hard to make financial sense of for the farmer. Imported seed may be costing €1,000/t, but once the price is averaged out with Irish seed prices, then seed prices are back down to levels below and above €800/t. All seed suppliers will most likely have to import seed and it is fair to divide out this cost to all.


Many of you got in touch about payments. The payment of the unharvested crops area may sort out some issues, but more of you are not impacted by this. We’ll keep an eye on payments and try and examine hold ups.