Weather is to pick up this week. Hopefully this allows a burst to be made at planting once again.

There are still a lot of cereals to be drilled, along with maize and beet. Potato farmers have a number of weeks work ahead to keep on top of planting and pre-emergence weed control.


Spring crops should be topped up with the rest of their nitrogen as soon as tramlines are visible. A lot of land is wet, and given the next few days are to be dry, it might be worth waiting a day or two to allow tramlines to dry out.

Spring barley in index 1 for nitrogen (continuous cereals) can receive 108 units of nitrogen before any yield bonuses.


Crops planted in April and May are generally advised to get an aphicide. This should be applied at the three to four-leaf stage.

If crops require trace elements, as they have known deficiencies, some of this nutrition could be applied to the crop at the same early stage to keep deficiencies at bay.

Winter barley

Many winter barley crops now have flag leaves emerged, and some have awns out. This is the ideal timing for the final spray.

Crops on a three-spray programme may not be long after a light fungicide, and should get value out of that fungicide by delaying the next application.

The majority of crops are on a two-spray programme and should receive a triazole, along with an SDHI and folpet, so something like Siltra or Revymaxx plus folpet.

Winter wheat

Some winter wheat crops are still receiving T1 fungicides. The T1 is applied when the third-last leaf is fully out and the T2 spray is applied to the flag leaf.

Grass weeds

While driving through crops with the sprayer, keep an eye out for grass weeds and note where they are. You can go back and identify the weed and control it.

You should also keep an eye on how herbicides have performed. Are there weeds growing in the crop that should have been controlled?

If there are, then you should note this and the products used, and talk to your adviser about sending samples for herbicide resistance testing to Teagasc Oak Park.


Make sure you are getting the right advice when treating your crops. There are a lot of rules, regulations and rates to follow when protecting crops, and agronomists are required to stay up-to-date to keep their qualifications and be registered with the Department of Agriculture.

You can look up the pesticide advisers register on the Pesticide Registration and Control Division’s website:

Wild bird cover

The deadline for planting wild bird cover under ACRES has been extended to 31 May. The original deadline was 15 May. Crops planted should have a 2m uncultivated boundary between the edge of the field and the crop. If a 3m buffer is in place beside a watercourse, then the 2m strip is not required.