Fertiliser: Ideal conditions for spreading on the way

With a dry spell of weather forecast for the coming week and soil temperatures on the rise it is the ideal time to hit winter crops with fertiliser.

Winter crops should receive phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) as soon as possible. Some farmers may opt to apply P, K and the first application of nitrogen together.

Applying nitrogen (N) early will help to reach yield potential and early N and K can contribute to a reduced risk of lodging.

Early nitrogen can also help to reduce the effects of take-all and thicken out crops which may have struggled over winter.

Oilseed rape crops will benefit from early nitrogen and those which have not yet received any should be treated in the coming days. Take account of the green leaf area (GLA) before setting the rate and apply accordingly, increase the rate in a low GLA situation.

Soil temperatures

Soil temperatures are warming up and are high enough for growth. They ranged from 6.8°C to 9.1°C from February 14 to February 20. This is 2.8°C to 3.7°C above normal.


Over the coming week Met Eireann has forecast that rainfall levels will be well below normal. High pressure is expected to dominate the weather from Saturday (February 23) to Wednesday (February 27).


Air temperatures are expected to be 3°C to 5°C above normal for the time of year in the coming days, improving crop growth and increasing soil temperatures.