A survey of agronomists across the country on Monday 13 May has shown that 80% to 100% of all spring crops are now planted, with variations between crops and areas.

Agronomists reported that more forage crops are being planted.

Maize looks to be the crop which is taking up most of this new area, but there is also an increase in beet, wholecrop cereals and protein/cereal mixes.

Spring barley

In Cork and Tipperary, almost all spring barley is reported to be in the ground. However, in Donegal that figure is 85%, 90% in Wexford, 98% in the midlands and 90% to 98% in the northeast.

While crops have still to be planted or emerge, some are up as far as GS30 in Tipperary, but GS23 was generally the highest in other parts of the country.

Spring barley establishment has been reported to be ‘super’ with crops growing rapidly, driven by rain and heat after planting.

Some net blotch was already spotted in crops in Wexford and Kildare.

Manganese deficiency is evident in crops around the country, so farmers with known deficiencies should treat as soon as possible.

Spring beans

Most agronomists reported that the spring bean area has increased or is unchanged and in parts of Co Wexford it has declined.

Crops are still emerging with 5% above the ground in the northwest, 60% to 80% emerged in the northeast, 100% emerged in Cork, Offaly and Tipperary and the midlands and 70% emerged in Co Wexford. Weather conditions allowed for effective use of pre-emergence herbicides.

Bean weevil was reported on the east coast and in the south, with some reporting low enough incidences of damage. There were plenty of reports of late planted beans which went into the ground last week, so it will be interesting to see how those crops perform.


Barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) levels were reported to be moderate to high in winter crops across the country, which is no surprise as the majority of crops could not be treated after sowing across the country due to weather. Low pressure was reported in the northwest.

Aphid levels in crops varied across the country.

The east coast seemed to report high levels and some aphicides have already been applied to spring barley crops across the country, particularly further south, with high numbers reported in Tipperary.

Winter barley

Most winter crops are now shooting out with reports of growth stages between 39 and 59 (flag leaf to head emerged).

Disease levels were generally reported to be low to moderate, but an array of diseases are present in crops including: rhynchosporium, net blotch, mildew and brown rust. Septoria nodorum was reported in some areas.

While disease levels might be low in winter barley crops, this may be attributed to thinner crops as crops struggled in the winter and in the northeast late nitrogen application was reported to be an issue.

In parts of Cork, Tipperary and the midlands, yield potential was reported to be good, while high levels of BYDV were reported in two-row varieties in Co Wexford.

Fungicide applications were up to date in all regions. Late nitrogen, PGR and herbicides have hit some crops, but they are starting to look better as the season goes on.

Winter wheat

The majority of crops are between GS32 and GS39, but in the south some are hitting GS45.

Septoria and yellow rust are the main diseases present. Levels are reported to be high in most parts, with the exception of the northwest and north Cork, where disease levels were reported to be low and moderate, respectively.

Yellow rust seems to be under control for some and while crops are dirty in the base, there is still time to keep them clean for the rest of the season.

Some reported that wheat is looking well, and there are good crops of late-drilled wheat. Wet weather hasn’t helped crops as fertiliser and PGR timings were delayed.

Fungicide applications are up to date. Some T1 sprays were delayed. Agronomists are encouraging farmers to keep the T1 and T2 timings tight where this was the case. T2s will get under way in the coming days in the south of the country.

Most winter bean crops received a pre-emergence herbicide according to agronomists.

Overall comments

Agronomists were generally positive. While winter crops did not get off to the best start and some are still thin, they are now looking fairly well and if good weather comes they could turn out well with good grain reported on winter barley. High BYDV levels are a concern and frustrating farmers.

Huge levels of work were completed in a short window in recent weeks and spring crops are now looking well, so hopefully the hard work will pay off for farmers and contractors.