Richard has been writing a slot for the Irish Farmers Journal. While the prolonged winter has been challenging, most of our crops didnt come out the other side. We have been busy sowing spring oilseed and draining the fields. Richard talks more in detail below!
Limavady, Co Derry
Ground conditions in the Northwest has certainly been more favourable than other parts of the country but that doesn’t mean this spring has been easy. Field work has been slow and the pressure is mounting on growers to get the work done explains Richard.
Doing what needs to be done this spring
Richard has had to change both his cropping plan and establishment system in certain fields due to 2017’s poor autumn. He runs a min-till system but ploughs when conditions dictate. This spring, he has ploughed a lot of ground. “We’re probably around 50-60% through with ploughing but we don’t own a plough so we get contractors in”.
As explained last month, Richard lost 70% of his winter oilseed rape crops due to poor autumn, late sowing and slug damage. He now plans to sow the Lumen spring oilseed rape at 3kg/ha to replace this lost crop using a contractor.
Richard is ready to start sowing his Planet feed and Scholar seed barley when conditions allow. He plant to sow this at 12-13st/ac along with 80l/ha of 14.14.0 liquid N using his 4m trailed Sumo Versa Plus drill. Shortly after drilling, 375kg/ha of 10.12.24+S+Mn will be surface broadcast before rolling
Winter crops doing well
Around 5% of the winter crops were damage due to waterlogging over winter but the remaining crops are looking good. Richards’s winter barley is around GS30 and will be ready for a T0 spray by next week. Disease pressure is low in his infinity barley but he plans on going with Chlormequat (1l/ha) to help tillering, Bravo (1l/ha) as well as Maxify Phastrate (is this how its spelled??) (1l/ha). It received 420kg/ha of 10.12.24 and will receive Sulfa CAN (26.5%N+12% S) next week.
His Graham winter wheat has received 250kg/ha of 10.12.24 so far and has been slow to take off. The crops are around mid-tillering and Richard is considering rolling a number of fields this year to see if it promotes tillering.
“I’d say I’m no more than 15-20% done but by the end of the week I hope to have a couple of hundred acres of spring barley in the ground”
Picture Caption: Richard and Claas service technicians working on his Xerion (model) fitted with liquid N tank and attached to his 4m trailed Sumo Versa Plus drill