Tillage management: Is your grain assurance record book up to date?

The Irish Grain Assurance Scheme (IGAS) record book is a handy tool to keep on top of records throughout the year. It might be an idea to keep it in the tractor and fill it out as you go.

If you haven’t been that organised, which most people aren’t, now is the time to catch up on it. Records must be kept for five years and growers can be audited randomly every five years.

The IGAS book can be a handy reference to look at from year-to-year and examine how crops performed and what was done differently.

Yield; previous crop; seed dressings and seed rates; fertiliser records; chemical records; and integrated pest management (IPM) methods are all on one page and easy to examine.

What do I need to record?

The IGAS provides a trail so that seed and batch numbers are recorded. Everything that was applied to a crop is known. This ensures consumer confidence. Cleaning and maintenance also ensures that there is no contamination of the product.

Crop Details:
  • Field name, size and land parcel identification system (LPIS) number;
  • Crop sown and previous crop sown;
  • Seed supplier, seed rate, seed lot number, seed dressings and seed dressing contractor where applicable.

Harvest Details:
  • Harvest date;
  • Who the grain was sold to;
  • What it was sold for – malting, seed, feed, milling, etc;
  • Date it was sold;
  • Tonnage;
  • Who it was delivered by.

There is a record page for grain holding areas. Grain holding areas should be power washed and disinfected following animal housing and should be free of oil and fertiliser stains.

Fertiliser application:
  • Date and growth stage applied at;
  • Compound used;
  • Rate used;
  • Units applied.

Fertiliser spreaders, trailers and combine records will all be checked for cleaning and maintenance.

Chemical Application:
  • Date applied and growth stage of the crop at application;
  • Water rate used;
  • Product name;
  • Product pesticide control service (PCS) number;
  • Rate of product used;
  • Reason for use;
  • Any other comments.

IPM control methods must also be recorded.

Auditors will look for pesticide user numbers of anyone who applies plant protection products. Sprayers will be checked to see that they are in-test and that they are properly maintained.

The pesticide store will also be inspected. This includes a list of products and the amounts of that product in stock.

Also Read: Tillage management: Is your chemical store in order?