Farmers were out in force at the Drummonds/Teagasc crop walk held in Termonfeckin this week. Good weather means most tillage farmers are up-to-date with work or under less pressure than usual for the time of year and it was clear there is an eagerness to return to in-person events.
Brian Reilly of Drummonds gave some important advice on timings for the final spray on winter barley. Using the Drummonds trial plots as an example, Brian pointed out the KWS Joyau with awns emerged, at the paintbrush stage, explaining that this is when farmers need to be applying the final fungicide. The majority of the remainder of the plots were still at the flag leaf stage.
Walking crops, watching out for leaf emergence and tracking growth stages are important from an environmental and economic point of view
He added that there is only one winter barley variety on the recommended lists with good resistance to ramularia and so all varieties will need a product like folpet for ramularia control.
When asked about growth regulator on spring barley, Brian suggested feeding the plant with nutrition or applying biostimulants or seaweeds to stimulate growth and tillering, rather than applying a hormone to do the job.
Shay Phelan of Teagasc pointed out the importance of applying the T1 fungicide on winter wheat to leaf 3. He explained to farmers they should dissect the plant and ensure it is applied at the optimum timing for the most efficient use of fungicide at that time.
Walking crops, watching out for leaf emergence and tracking growth stages are important from an environmental and economic point of view when it comes to sustainability, to ensure efficiency and optimum yield. Walking the crops might even help with the social side of sustainability.