Irish toast successful harvest, says Philip Reck

The biggest harvest on record is how harvest 2011 has been described here.

The Irish tillage industry is vibrant and the outlook remains promising. While quality and yield was extremely good this year, input costs remain high and show signs of increasing while grain prices are slipping due to the market volatility.

These fluctuations may also be short-lived. But highs and lows in the economy are becoming more apparent and there is an air of caution within the industry, which may serve people well this season.

Harvest ran late, but it has not compromised autumn plantings. Fine late summer weather has allowed progress to be made sowing the winter crops. JB Diego winter wheat and Mascani winter oats have been sown into ideal seed-beds. The long dry spring has resulted in a powdery soil structure that required minimal seed-bed preparation ahead of the drill.

Getting these crops sown and established early was important, especially if the forecast cold weather arrives. The addition of phosphorous at sowing will promote root development and consolidation will give the crop the ability to withstand freezing conditions and crop heave should the cold weather materialise, like our two previous winters. A herbicide mixture of isoproturon (IPU) and diflufenican (DFF) with an added aphicide will take care of the grass and weeds.

The Irish Ploughing Championship had a record attendance of 208,000 visitors over the three days and made an enjoyable day out. The positive mood and coverage from all media sectors certainly gave the industry the support it needs. Even the site in Co Kildare was referred to as “Ploughtown” during the event. Next year’s event will be held locally and everyone is looking forward to the positive effect that such a large show will have on the local economy.





Arable Farmer Focus: Philip Reck

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