Teagasc Crop Report

Update No. 5 2021

Update No. 5 2021

Wednesday 28th April 2021
(Updated Thursday 29th April 2021)
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Headlines 

Despite the showers in the past day or so soils across the country have substantial soil moisture deficits (up to 40mm - see more on met.ie).  This is taking its toll on light soil farms with some reports of poor establishment and growth on sandy banks on these farms.

  • Crop Agronomy Webinar series continues on May 4th at 11.30am for more see www.teagasc.ie/tillagemonth 
    • The webinar will cover crop agronomy of winter and spring cereals, beet, beans and getting the best from plant protection products
  • Disease levels across all crops are low however they are showing signs of stress.
  • The lower levels of disease will allow more flexibility as to the choice of fungicide and rate used in winter cereals.  However winter wheat which previously had yellow rust will still need robust rates
  • Winter barley crops are under stress and this may be a trigger for Ramularia later in the season.  This should be taken into account before the final fungicide in terms of timing (applied early) and rate/mix of products. 
  • Beans - Notching from bean weevils is limited at the moment due to cool conditions but watch out for damage as temperatures increase
  • Maize - Early indications suggest there is an increase in maize planted in the open this year, mainly in the south
  • Potatoes - planting of main crops are almost finished. Early crops have been affected by the recent frosts which will delay their growth.
  • Grass - Clovermax, the clover safe 2,4-DB / MCPA combination has received emergency use approval for a 120 day period form May 14th.
  • Beet - Matching herbicide rate and beet size is important to avoid crop damage. Herbicide application should be delayed if the crop is suffering from drought stress or nutrient deficiencies.  

Applying Plant Protection Products (PPP) to crops under stress

The current conditions of dry soils and cool weather puts plants under stress.  Applying PPP's will apply further stress onto the crop which can lead to; mottling on the leaf, scorching of leaves, reduced efficacy of the PPP especially herbicides and growth regulators, delayed growth in the plant, stunted growth in the plant etc.  The same effect can often happen where there is a large swing in day and night time temperatures ( There are a number of action which should be considered before applying PPP' to stressed crops in these situations:

  • Avoid applying a PPP to the crCrop Sprayingop and wait for the crop to recover
    • ideally allow 2-3 growth days before application and ideally 2-3 growth days afterwards - this helps the crop to recover and the PPP to work effectively
  • Correct any nutrient deficiencies (e.g. trace elements) in the crop.  A healthy crop will cope better with stress 
  • Where the crop has reached a critical timing stage and the PPP application is urgent 
    • Minimise the PPP in the tank - only include the critical PPP (e.g. only include growth regulators ) and return a 3-4 days later with other PPP if necessary 
    • Minimise the rate of the PPP,  if possible, which will reduce the stress on the crop.  However many PPP have minimum levels and unfortunately in cold/poor growth conditions  more rather than less PPP may be requires to achieve the same result if applied in good growing conditions
    • Avoid applying the PPP's to crops very early in the morning (especially if frosted)  and avoid the heat of the day (where a big temperature swing is expected)

 


Winter Wheat

Winter Wheat

Most crops are either approaching leaf 3 emerged or are already have leaf 3 fully emerged, so the first fungicide is now due. Some crops that were sprayed in the last few weeks are showing significant signs of scorch from the frosty and dry weather, this should serve as a reminder to avoid complicated tank mixes in these weather conditions.

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Winter Barley

Winter barley

Dry spring conditions, large temperature fluctuations and frost have caused stress spotting symptoms on many crops of winter barley. These stress symptoms are exacerbated when growth regulators and fungicides have been sprayed on to the crop. The condition of the crop will influence fungicide application and whether a final PGR is applied or not. 

As a result of these stress symptoms there is a wide range in growth stages in winter barley. Later sown crops in exposed sites at at early stem extension while early developing varieties like Joyau in favourable sites are at awn emergence. 

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Winter Oats

Winter Oats

Growth has continued int he cold dry weather although not at the normal face pace which would be expected at this time of year.  Crops are at GS31 to GS33 with the majority at the critical second node stage.

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Winter Oilseed Rape

Winter Oilseed Rape

Crops are flowering at the moment and are withstanding the dry cold weather very well in most cases. The dry weather will help to reduce the risk of sclerotinia in crops.

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Spring Oats

Spring Oats

As with all spring crops growth has been steady but slow.  Soil moisture deficits are high in many areas and rain will be welcome.  Crops are from 1-2 leaf stage to early tillering.  Disease levels are low.

 

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Spring Barley

Spring Barley

All spring barley is planted and emergence has been good in most areas. Crops in lighter soils are starting to struggle due to lack of moisture and trace element deficiencies are evident. Earlier sown crops are at early tillering, weed control and final nitrogen are the priority. As with all crops caution is advised in applying plant protection products in cold conditions and any nutrient deficiencies should be corrected first.  

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Spring Beans

Spring Beans

Crop emergence is good this year with most crops achieving target plant numbers. Monitoring for bean weevil will be the priority in the next two weeks before grass weed and disease control. 

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Maize and Fodder Beet

Maize and Fodder Beet

Most of this years maize under plastic and fodder beet is planted  as a result of the recent dry spell. The remaining maize to be planted is in the open. It appears that there is an increase in maize planted in the open this year, mainly in the south. 

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Potatoes

Potatoes

Most of the maincrop has been planted at this stage with many growers completely finished at this stage. Some of the early April planted crop will soon start to emerge and so will require an application of herbicides. Early crops have been affected with the recent frosts in April especially under fleece on exposed sites.

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Grassland Weed Control

Grassland Weed Control

Clovermax, the clover safe 2,4-DB / MCPA combination has received emergency use approval for a 120 day period form May 14th. 

There is no change for farmers that have Clovermax (or other 2,4-DB products) in stock, they have until October 31st to use up. 

For further information on grassland weed control click here   

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