From talking to agronomists, only about 2% of spring crops are estimated to be planted across the country. There was good activity in drier parts of the country on Tuesday before rain arrived, but the overall amount of planting carried out is tiny.

There is more rain in the forecast, so all anyone can do is wait and be patient to plant. In the meantime, take any opportunity to make sure winter crops are up to date with fertiliser, herbicides, growth regulators and fungicides. This weather is ideal for plant disease.

Winter wheat

There is plenty of rust in winter wheat crops, so affected varieties that have not been treated should be as soon as possible.

Watch out for rust in susceptible varieties like JB Diego and Torp, but there have also been reports in Graham, so keep an eye on all varieties and apply a strobilurin or tebuconazole where needed.

Many have applied T0s to winter wheat in the form of sulphur. It is up to individuals to decide on the disease risk and the spend. There is plenty of septoria and rust about.

Winter barley

There is disease in winter barley, with Rhynchosporium present in many unsprayed crops. Crops which have not been sprayed and are on a two-spray programme will need to be treated soon.

If disease pressure is low you can go with prothioconazole and a strobilurin like Decoy and Comet for example. If pressure is high you may need to go with an SDHI instead of a strob.

Some winter barley crops will be on a second spray once weather allows. This is most likely an SDHI, triazole and may contain folpet, but remember to balance pressure and spend.

Growth regulator

It’s easy to fall behind on growth regulator in this weather. Daily showers make it very difficult to get out to spray.

If you’re moving with a fungicide, you are most likely at a timing for a growth regulator, so consult your agronomist. Just be careful not to stress crops.

Just be careful not to stress crops with herbicide and growth regulator mixes It’s difficult to keep timings right and mixes mild.

Renewables roadshow

If you are interested in solar PV, generating renewable heat, anaerobic digestion or retrofitting your farmhouse, the Irish Farmers Journal’s Renewables Roadshow is the place to find out about each measure.

The roadshow kicks off next week on Tuesday, 9 April in the Silver Springs Hotel, Cork, followed on 16 April in the Newpark Hotel, Kilkenny, 23 April at the Errigal Country House Hotel, Cavan and 30 April at the Athlone Springs Hotel, Westmeath. The events all begin at 7.30pm and finish at 10pm.

Crop protection magazine

The annual crop protection magazine will be published in next week’s paper. It has details of almost 300 plant protection products, varieties, sprayer testing, products going off the market and all the latest from researchers on disease control and a handy grass weed identification guide. Don’t forget to pick up your copy.