Growth stages in winter barley range from flag leaf emergence to awn emergence. The recent dry weather has contributed to the low disease levels. The focus from now on will be on the application of the final fungicide to help prevent ramularia, brackling and keeping the upper canopy green.
Most crops are at mid to late flowering stage. Many have received a fungicide for schlerotinia at early petal fall while the remaining crops will be sprayed this week.
Crops are growing well at the moment and most crops have leaf 3 fully emerged with leaf two emerging. Many crops have received the leaf 3 application and the later sown crops are fast approaching leaf 3 fully emerged. Disease pressure is generally low although there are reports of septoria in lower leaves in most crops and yellow rust in susceptible varieties.
Crops have grown well over the last couple of weeks and the recent rainfall seems to have greened up many crops. The dry weather in April seems to have kept disease levels very low with very little mildew or crown rust evident so far.
Bean weevil has been the main concern to date and some crops required treatment but in crops with 6-8 leaves or more only where notching is excessive. Beans present an ideal opportunity to control grass weeds with an alternative mode of action and this can be applied from now on. Disease control will commence at the start of flowering.
Recent rain has alleviated some of drought issues in spring cereals but most of the tillage areas in Ireland are still in soil moisture deficit. Uneven germination has been has been a feature in some areas particularly in the north east due to dry soils. Growth stages in spring barley vary from recently emerged to mid tillering. Completing herbicide application and the control of BYDV where required are the priority in the coming days.
As a consequence of the poor weather conditions last autumn the area of spring wheat has increased from 4,000ha to an estimated 10,000ha. Growth stages range from early tillering to growth stage 30. Broadleaf weed control is completed in most cases.
Spring oat crops are growing well at the moment with most crops now approaching GS 30. Most crops have already received a herbicide and will soon need a plant growth regulator.
Fodder beet planting is virtually complete at this stage. Establishment is generally good but similar to spring cereals dry conditions have caused poorer establishment in a some cases. Soil moisture is important for the residual component of the herbicide program. Some earlier planted crops have already been sprayed for weeds.
Most maize crops are in the ground with just a few crops in the open remaining to be sown. For crops under plastic now is a good time to assess how well weeds have been controlled and if a follow up herbicide is required. Crops in open will require a herbicide from the 4 leaf stage.
Planting is now finished and crops are starting to emerge. Dry conditions are being experienced in the northern half of the country which could make applying herbicides tricky.
The most recent Grass 10 newsletter comments that surplus grass and growth exceeding demand on most farms on PBI. Farmers should make the decision to “skip ahead” and cut a pad-dock/ close off a paddock for surplus bales to keep pregrazing at 1,400 kg DM/ha and cover/cow at 160-170 kg DM/LU.
Weeds in grassland significantly reduces yield and quality. Docks in silage ground will be the target for many farmers in the coming weeks. The key to successful control of docks in silage ground is to apply suitable herbicide to actively growing docks that are 15-25cm high. The interval between herbicide application and cutting varies between products but can be up to 21 days.