Drier weather is a help to keep disease at bay and will take some pressure off farmers. It might also help to get fungicide timings right on crops.
Spring barley: Spring barley crops are all at different stages across the country with some just emerged, some at weed sprays and more past growth stage 30 and heading for flag leaf in some cases. Early-sown February crops are getting near final fungicides.
Late-sown crops receiving a weed spray may benefit from a fungicide at the same time to keep ahead of crops. Crops may be stressed in the dry weather, so make sure nutrient deficiencies are looked after and treat them early.
Late April sown crops may still need a first fungicide. A triazole and a strobilurin should do the trick here. Final fungicides should include folpet at 1.5L/ha and an SDHI with a triazole.
Some winter wheat crops are now at the head spray or very near it. The head spray is ideally applied at the start of flowering. It should include a mix of azole fungicides.
April sown beans are doing well. Keep an eye out for chocolate spot and downy mildew. Early-sown crops needed an early spray and growers will now need to watch intervals between fungicide applications. April-sown crops may be able to keep the normal fungicide timing of early flowering as dry weather may help to keep disease at bay.
Spring oats are also at very different stages. Some may have only received their first fungicide, while others will soon be heading out. The final spray on oats should be applied as the panicle emerges. Use an SDHI with a triazole and include a mildewcide if needed.
If you did not include a wild oat spray with the weed spray on spring cereals then you can go back three weeks after that herbicide was applied. Higher rates are needed when you spray later in the season. If canary grass or Italian ryegrass are an issue, then you need to apply apply the maximum rate of Axial Pro at 0.82l/ha.
Keep an eye out for grass weeds. Record where you see them before you pull them or spray them off. On this week’s tillage pages, Teagasc has advice on how to sample grass weeds. This allows you to test the weeds on your farm for resistance to herbicides. However, getting rid of the grass weeds should be a priority. If there are weeds that were missed, collect seeds from later in the year for testing.
A Donegal tillage crop variety and information evening will be held on Tuesday, 6 June from 5pm to 8pm on Drumbuoy Farm, Newtowncunningham. Varieties of winter barley and hybrid rye will be on display and the seed trade will be in attendance. There will also be talks on grain markets, soil and plant health.