Farmer Focus Arable: Jammed tramliner leaves gaps for Philip Reck

The warm dry weather of March and early April has made the spring drilling workload manageable. It’s now completed save for one heavy field that will not have appreciated the 60mm of rain falling since the rest was done, but which will hopefully be drilled next week.

With rain forecast and the field prone to waterlogging it was forsaken to ensure even emergence.

Crops are emerging fast and will receive the first split of nitrogen as soon as emergence is completed and the tramlines are clearly visible. One field in particular has an abundance of such lines where the unit managed to jam in the on position – and, of course, it would happen while I was drilling for one evening. It would never get stuck in the off position nor happen away from the view from the road.

Early sown Prestige has received its first N but will also receive some K2 (chlormequat) to help boost tillering and thicken the crops which are also ready for herbicide and insecticide.

Isoproturon will be used as the basis for the meadowgrass control. This will be sprayed from the three-leaf stage onwards with Cajole Ultra (esfenvalerate).

Gex 353 (thifensulfuron-methyl + tribenuron-methyl + fluroxypyr) will then be used at T1 for weed control with Proline (prothioconazole) as the main fungicide and wild oat spray Axial (pinoxaden) if required.

Barley plantings have seen a marked increase this spring in Ireland. Poor ground conditions and continuous rain last autumn prevented a sizeable acreage of winter cereals from being planted and this has been switched to spring barley.

Although world production will be down this year, a large carryover may prevent the harvest price from increasing to levels people require to achieve reasonable margins this season. Hopefully this outlook will change over the coming months.

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