Monthly Rainfall and Temperatures
Graphs and table below are courtesy of Met Eireann (www.met.ie)
Wheat crops are starting to move through the growth stages now despite the cold temperatures last week, most crops are at GS 31 and are in need of growth regulators and the main split of nitrogen. Disease levels vary with yellow rust prone varieties still showing signs of infection, septoria is evident in all crops at various levels.
Winter oats have grown considerably over the past 10 days despite the cool conditions. Crops are generally looking well and growth stages range from GS30-GS32. Disease levels have reduced again due to the cool conditions with little disease on the new growth in most crops. There are still a small number of crops where mildew is a problem.
Growth in winter barley has increased in the last few days despite cool temperatures. Most crops are approaching GS 32 with earlier developing varieties like KWS Joyau approaching flag leaf. The recent dry weather has slowed disease that was in crops a few weeks ago and most crops are relatively clean. Fertiliser is largely complete but frosty nights has delayed plant growth regulator and fungicide applications.
The recent frosts have caused concern among many growers as to the long term impact on yield however crops normally produce more flowers than needed so the final impact will not be known until harvest. Crops are variable from crops in full flower to others that are only starting flowering, this is likely to have been the impact of pigeon grazing in early spring.
The earliest planted spring oats are coming through the ground at the moment. Plant establishment looks promising so far.
Planting is now in full swing in most areas with soil conditions improving all the time. Maincrop varieties such as Rooster, Markies, Kerrs Pink etc. are all being planted at the moment. Growers will have to plan their crop management early to avoid problems with delayed desiccation.
Spring barley planting is completed in most of the county and has been planted in good soil conditions. There is some planting to be done in the north west where rain has delayed planting. Overall the area is expected to be at normal levels following the big increase in 2020 as a result of poor weather in autumn 2019.
The area of spring beans is expected to be slightly lower than 2020. Majority of crops have emerged and establishment is generally good. Monitoring for bean weevil and grass weeds will be the priority before disease control before flowering.
The area maize and fodder beet is expected to remain similar to 2020 at 15,000ha and 9,000ha respectively. Planting has started in earlier parts of the country. Where tillage farmers are growing fodder crops on contract for livestock farmers, there is a very useful Contract Forage Agreement available on the Teagasc website.