Well sown is well grown, according to Teagasc, which says progress with spring crops has been slow to date but ground conditions are more important than drilling date.

Teagasc is holding a series of spring crop walks around the country at the moment with key advise being dispensed by advisors at the events. In terms of spring barley it says crops are generally thin and there is a need to stimulate tiller numbers.

Teagasc is advising farmers to increase seed rate as you drill into April and consider other crops like rape, beet, or maize as options.

Key advice for spring cereals:
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With a resistant variety in a dry spring delay/reduce T1 fungicide if the crop is disease free.

Don’t delay disease control on varities with poor resistance. Start disease control immediately if disease pressure is building.

Research has shown the biggsest payback in terms of value for money is at T2 unless disease is evident at T1. Target Total spend of €25-35/ac depending on diease pressure

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Apply lime as recommended based on a recent soil test result. Aim for a soil pH 6.5 for efficient nitorgen (N),phosphorus (P), and potassium (K)utilisation.

Select a suitable fertiliser to deliver sufficient seedbed N for early establishment and sufficient P and K for crop yield in single application.

Apply recommended rates of P and K at sowing time and incorporate into the seedbed. Recent spring barley P trials indicate the benefits of placing P fertiliser on P Index 1 soils in terms of rapid root and tiller development.Apply 30% N requirements at sowing.

Apply remaining N at mid tillering or alternatively, split the reaming crop N as follows – two-thirds at early tillering and the remaining one-third by gs 31- 32 to reduce the risk of N loss in feeding barley.

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All March sown crops will not need an aphicide, except in areas with a history of BYDV or near the coast. April/May sown crops should receive an aphicide at the three to four leaf stage for optimum effect. Monitor for slugs and leatherjackets, but indications are that numbers are low.

Teagasc picked up low levels of pyrethroid-resistant aphids in 2013. All pyrethroids are affected by this resistance; Aphox Dimethoate (wheat only), and Dursban are not affected. Teagasc recommends that pyrethroids should be applied according to their labels onto crops for aphid control. If control is poor, consult with your advisor.


Teagasc is inviting all interested in the tillage sector to the nationwide series of crop walks which are ongoing:

28 Apr Martin & Jamie Whelan, Ballingale, Ferns, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford 7.00pm

28 Apr Jimmy Walshe, Park House, Park, Co. Carlow 11.00am

30 Apr Fergal Healy, Rapla, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary 11.00am

6 May Chris Bourns, Lisbeg Farms, Aircourt, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway 6.30pm

7 May James Robinson, Newtouncunningham, Donegal 7.00pm

8 May Dominic Flaherty, Banna, Ardfert, Co. Kerry 12.00pm

8 May Sylvester Bourke’s Farm, Killiniskyduff, Arklow, Co. Wicklow 2.00pm

22 May Terry Bermingham, Durrow, Tullamore, Co. Offaly 6.30pm