The weather is picking up thankfully. Hopefully it allows for a good run of work as there is a lot to be done, from spraying and spreading fertiliser to the main business of planting spring crops.

There is a heavy workload on all farms, so the most important thing is that everyone stays safe. Take your time when setting up and plan different jobs carefully. Get enough rest and eat well.


The tillage payment of €100/ha (€40/ac) is to be paid on tillage crops planted for harvest in 2024. See page 71 for details.


It will take land a few days to dry out, and while some may have been working away this week, there is a lot of land which will take another while.

On this week’s tillage pages, Teagasc’s Dermot Forristal has advice on cultivating after a wet spring and some tips on speeding up work.

All crops are a priority at this stage, but beans should be planted as soon as possible.

Seed rate

As time moves on, seed rates may need to be increased. This will be up to individuals. If your seed rate is already high then you might leave as is. It will also depend on seed available.

To get the seeding rate you multiply the target plant count/m² by the TGW(g) and divide by the expected establishment percentage. This will give you the sowing rate in kg/ha.

The target plant count that Teagasc advises for spring barley is 325 plants/m² in late April. Establishment rate will vary with ground and weather conditions, but is generally estimated at 90% in late April. At a TGW of 57g, you’re at a sowing rate of 205kg/ha.

Imported seed, brought in due to a shortage of spring cereal seed, looks to have lower TGWs than Irish seed (40-57g), so this will have a lower seeding rate.

Winter barley

Many winter barley crops are still due a T1 fungicide, along with nutrition and a plant growth regulator. Use a mix of chemistry on these crops like Decoy and Comet or Delaro Forte.

These products do not have an SDHI, but should keep spend down for the first application. Consult with your agronomist on disease levels.

Winter wheat

Some winter wheat is at the T1 timing, while more has a bit to go. You will need to pull back the leaves and target leaf 3, the third last leaf. It should be fully emerged. You will need an SDHI or a Qii (Questar) product, along with a triazole and Folpet.

Forage crops

There may be opportunities to grow forage crops for livestock farmers. However, an agreement needs to be in place and some advance payments made. Teagasc has sample contracts. Tirlán has said it will facilitate agreements and charge 50% of input costs for the crop to the livestock farmer.