Farmer Focus: Late barley drilling now an opton for Philip Reck

As we enter the second half of November, opportunities to plant become increasingly unlikely.

Although long-term forecasts look promising, for the remainder of the month, the likelihood that ground will be dry enough to drill remains questionable.

With some winter oats still to go in hopefully the opportunity will arise in the coming weeks. Having taken delivery of a new 6m Vaderstad Seedhawk direct drill it would be good to get some drilling done if land dries out enough.

The practice of drilling spring barley in November or December is also being considered. In the past rynchosporium has been the negating factor, but varieties such as Quench exhibit good resistance characteristics.

A three-spray fungicide programme would be required in the spring but the extra cost would hopefully be covered by the increased yield. Results from around the country make the practice look promising. With yields comparable to winter barley achievable it is definitely an option.

Winter barley will receive its final herbicide of Flight (pendimethalin + picolinafen) with Karate (lamda + cyhalothrin) added to give the crop protection over the winter from aphids. Winter oats will receive Bacara (diflufenican + flurtamone) and Karate. Although ground conditions will have to improve somewhat, I am hoping to complete this spraying in the coming week.

Grain prices continue to fall dried prices now reflect green prices at the harvest. Even though fertiliser prices are beginning to soften and diesel is returning to acceptable levels, grain values will need to strengthen considerably for next harvest. It is highly unlikely that increases in pesticides over the past year will be taken off now that the world economy is experiencing a downturn.

With our own economy experiencing a significant recession and the outlook bleak in the short term it is heartening to hear how farmers were helped during this year’s difficult harvest. New Line Oil Company made sure one of rigid oil trucks was shod appropriately to cross sodden stubble fields so that combines received diesel. It is good to see that community spirit is still evident in the agricultural

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