Teagasc Crop Report

Winter Crops Reference Guide

Winter Crops Reference Guide

Wednesday 18th December 2019
(Updated Tuesday 28th July 2020)
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Winter Oilseed Rape

Winter Oilseed Rape

In recent years the area of winter oilseed rape has stabilised at around 8,500 hectares.  Target yield is 5t/ha but there has been some variability in recent years – see table 1. Late sowing and pigeon grazing have been factors in low yielding years. Typically winter oilseed rape is sown after winter barley which increases the chances of getting the crop sown in August.

Table 1: area and yield of winter oilseed rape 2015-2019

 

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

Area (ha)

7,560

7,765

7,991

8,791

8,652

Yield (t/ha)

4.7

3.6

4.5

3.9

4.3

 

Oilseed rape offers the opportunity for growers to spread the risk and workload during critical parts of the season. It also offers the benefits of crop rotation, alternative weed control options, disease control and potentially increased yields in the following cereals.

Oilseed rape acts as a break crop from the Take-all fungus which adversely affects wheat.  Yield of wheat sown after sowing rape can increase by 0.5-1.5 t/ha depending on the incidence of take all during the growing season.

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Winter Wheat

Winter Wheat

This following section outlines the main tasks involved in growing wheat and maps out the general strategies  for major agronomic decisions.

The area of winter wheat in Ireland has fluctuated around 60,000 hectares in recent years. This area is influenced by planting opportunities in the autumn and grain price. Yields are dependent on the growing season but target yields of 10.5t/ha are achievable. Teagasc eProfit Monitors show that winter wheat is one of the most profitable crops but is more expensive to grow.

 

To achieve exceptional yields, wheat crops need optimum growing conditions throughout the season to enable strong vegetative growth, ear growth and development and grain filling. Teagasc research indicates that grain number/m² and grain size, had an equal influence on yield. Ear number has the biggest influence on grain number but the crop can compensate to some extent for low ear numbers by increasing grain number per ear and increasing grain size.

 

Table 1: Area and yield of winter wheat. 

 

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

National Yield(t/ha)

7.2

9.3

10.2

10.7

9.7

10.3

8.91

National Area (ha)

83,300

45,400

65,100

55,300

59,700

60,300

53,900

Source CSO.ie

*DAFM area and Teagasc Harvest Report estimates

 

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Winter barley

Winter Barley

The area of winter barley planted in Ireland ranges from around 60,000 up to 80,000 ha in recent years. This area is influenced by planting opportunities in the autumn and grain price. Yields are dependent on the growing season but target yields of 10.0 t/ha are achievable. Teagasc E-profit monitors show that winter barley is one of the most profitable crops especially where there is a market for straw.

To achieve exceptional yields, wheat crops need optimum growing conditions throughout the season to enable strong vegetative growth, ear growth and development and grain filling. Teagasc research indicates that ear number has the biggest influence on grain yield, there is a relatively low correlation between grain weight or size and final yield. Barley yield is determined early but the number of tillers produced i.e. 1,100 -1,200 tillers/m2 to produce head number of approximately 1,000 ears/m2.

Table 1: Area and yield of Winter Barley. 

 

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

National Yield(t/ha)

7.8

9.5

9.3

10.2

8.6

9.1

8.8

National Area (ha)

41,000

36,000

60,100

69,800

74,600

65,000

57,900

Source CSO.ie

*DAFM area and Teagasc Harvest Report estimates

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Winter Oats

Winter Oats

Winter Oat management strategies from planting to harvesting are outlined in this section

Winter Oats

The area of winter oats tends to be variable from highs of 9,000 ha to 16,000 ha in recent years. Generally the increases or decreases drives an adjustment in the spring oat plantings up or down to give a national oat crop of around 21,000 ha on average each year.   Yields are dependent on the growing season but target yields of 9.5t/ha are achievable.  Oat crops tend to yield higher in a normal to wet year.  Teagasc eProfit monitors show that winter oats can be one of the most profitable break crops in the rotation.

A oat research program has been ongoing in Teagasc Oak Park , lead by the late Dr John Finnan, for the past number of years.  Results from agronomic trials are pointing to a relatively plastic crop, i.e. the crop has the ability to recover from low plant numbers to produce similar grains per hectare as normal and likewise where the crop is too thick the crop reduces grain sites.  Seeding rate, nitrogen rates and timings can all influence yield and quality of  the oat crops.  The main yield driver in the crop is to maximise the numbers of grain seed per meter squared.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 1: Area and yield of winter oats. 

 

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

National Yield(t/ha)

8.1 8.7 9.2 8.3 8.9 7.9 8.6*

National Area (ha)

5,400 10,100 11,400 13,200 14,400 10,200 16,400*

Figures from CSO.ie

*DAFM area and Teagasc Harvest Report estimates

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