Crop walking: Peas to spring barley…variation in the fields

From peas to spring barley Kevin Egan has great variation in the crops he walks. The agronomist works with Liffey Mills in the Athy area of Kildare all the way back to Co. Offaly.

Nutrients and bio-stimulants form a strong part of his recommendations, while pests have been causing hassle in beans.

Winter barley wrapped up

Last week he was busy looking at winter barley and final fungicides should have been wrapped up on these crops over the weekend.

“Awns are well emerged on most crops and in general crops are very clean. The majority are in a two-spray programme,” Kevin told AgriLand at the end of last week.

He did notice some small bits of mildew on heavy crops and added in Corbel to keep it at bay. In the main Kevin recommended products like Decoy + Priaxor, Ceriax or Macfare Xpro on winter barley. Chlorothalonil was added to all mixes.

Winter barley with awns out last week. Image source: Kevin Egan, Liffey Mills

Spring barley

The dry weather changed spring barley timelines somewhat this year. In some cases Kevin applied wild oat herbicides before the main herbicide as broad-leaved weeds were slow to come.

The majority of crops are good. They’re showing up patches of deficiencies, but they’ll be fine.

Manganese and magnesium are the main deficiencies in the area and, where deficiencies are being treated with the weed spray, Kevin is adding in a mix like Uplift or Rooter AA to bring on the crop.

Spring barley that Kevin walked last week. Image source: Kevin Egan, Liffey Mills

He might go back with straights at T1 depending on the deficiency and the farmer’s preference.

Kevin is watching disease carefully and may delay the T1 or adjust rates depending on pressure. Decoy + Priaxor is one option he’s considering, but he will see how crops progress.

T2s on winter wheat

T2s will most likely start at the end of this week and Kevin is keeping a close eye.

They’re getting very close. The flag leaf was about 50% emerged on Thursday. The T2 will probably be the later part of next week depending on growth.

“I’ll be assessing crops closer to the time to see exactly what we’ll apply, but Revystar might be the better option for some of the dirtier varieties like JB Diego.”

Image source: Kevin Egan, Liffey Mills

Kevin added that some farmers may trial some Folpet (broad-spectrum fungicide) this season, but nutrition and bio-stimulants are an important part of his recommendations.

“I use Phylgreen with nearly all fungicides on wheat. I think it helps the absorption of the chemical into the leaf and there is a greening effect. There are trials ongoing proving its benefits,” he commented.

“Some growers will use Epso Combitop or other foliar sprays like Magnitech would be fairly popular or Final K on the head spray.”

Peas and beans for home-grown protein

“We’ve peas around Athy and they’re doing very well,” Kevin noted.

The tradition of growing peas kept up after the closure of Bachelors and those peas now form part of the protein component in Liffey Mills animal feed rations.

The peas and beans are toasted and flaked in Roscrea. The toasting increases the feed out and the digestibility of both peas and beans which are included in our rations as home-grown proteins.

“There was an awful lot of activity this year with the pea and bean weevil and we sprayed an insecticide on most peas and timed it with a graminicide to take out scutch and other grass weeds.

Bean weevil damage in beans. Image source: Kevin Egan, Liffey Mills

“We’ll wait and see what happens. Depending on the year sometimes we get away without applying fungicides. Mildew can be a problem. We’ll assess the crops as they’re going along.

Peas are a bit like beans. Sometimes the more nutrition they get, the better they’ll respond.

Kevin has applied Multiplex II which contains boron, manganese and magnesium.

He noted that there was also a good uptake on beans this year and those crops will receive Signum at flowering for chocolate spot. The bean weevil was a problem in some crops.

Image source: Kevin Egan, Liffey Mills


Kevin has a lot of beet on his books and it is heading for a T2. He walked a range of crops last week, all very clean. Some can be seen in the gallery below.

I’m undecided on what to do. We might split the T2 in half with the dry weather putting the beet under a little bit of pressure.

“I have a few growers who sowed early and sprayed early and the weeds or the beet aren’t coming quickly,” he commented.”

Kevin noted that most farmers don’t mind an extra pass with the sprayer if the weeds are controlled. Betanal MaxxPro and Goltix will be applied in the T2.


The flag leaf has emerged on winter oats, while spring oats aren’t ready for regulation yet. Kevin added that some growers will try to coincide weeds with regulation.