Winter cereal crops starting to yellow

Some winter cereal crops have started to yellow slightly over recent days, according to Teagasc tillage advisor Marianne Mulhall.

But this should not be seen as a reason for growers getting Nitrogen spread early, she said.

“It’s time enough for winter wheat and barley to receive their first dressing of fertiliser around the end of this month. Teagasc recommends that crops should receive 30% of their total Nitrogen requirements by the end of February.

“Those farmers who want to go a little bit earlier than this should restrict Nitrogen applications to no more than 30kg/ha. A compound such as 0:7:30 or 10:10:20 would be perfect for this.”

In the event of cold and wet conditions following this, the amount of fertiliser lost by way of denitrification and leaching will be minimal.

Mulhall confirmed that all winter cereal crops are looking well.

“Establishment conditions last autumn were excellent. The good weather also allowed farmers to get their on with their herbicide programmes, particularly where broadleaf weeds are concerned, with a degree of comfort.

“Crops needing further herbicide treatment should only be sprayed once plants are growing actively.

Mulhall confirmed that the recent dry spell had allowed significant numbers of tillage farmers to get on with winter ploughing.

This will put farmers in a good place when it comes to establishing spring barley crops. Sowing can get underway from mid-March onwards.

Mulhall said Teagasc Kilkenny will host two tillage events during February. Both of these are knowledge transfer (KT) approved by the Department of Agriculture.

The first of these is the Spring Cereal Event on Wednesday evening of this week (February 8). The venue is the Teagasc Office on the Kells Road, the starting time 7.45pm.

“A crop walk will take place at Teagasc Kildalton on Friday February 24. The starting time here is 11.00am,” she said.