Home Columnists Colm Fingleton: On the final countdown with winter crops looking good

Colm Fingleton: On the final countdown with winter crops looking good

Development levies for farm buildings will not increase

We’re now heading into June with the growing season moving along quickly and good weather at the moment.

As regards crops the gate is pretty much closed on Winter Barley and Winter Wheat is fast approaching its final spray. Overall winter crops seem to look fairly clean, with good potential.

Spring crops are a different story with a lot of variation in the fields. The recent dry conditions took their toll on many crops, especially where seedbed conditions may have not been ideal or in very dry fields. On top of that there was some pest damage which has left some crops thin and patchy in places.

Weed control in very dry conditions is not ideal, provides no residual effect and can add more stress on crops. Weed control is largely carried out by now on spring barley and in a lot of cases T1 has been applied also.

Last week I attended the Glanbia crop walk on Larry Flood’s farm in Rathangan, Co Kildare. There was a really good turnout on the night with Tom Mc Cabe, UCD, going through each of the five crops grown on the farm. Winter wheat looked well with good septoria control but some concerns raised about the appearance of yellow rust in the crop.

We looked at a field of Quadra Winter Barley, which is a six row hybrid variety. All applications were complete on this crop which was a bit tall, but that’s not unusual for this variety. Winter Oats, just needing final fungicide, looked very good and not too tall which is always an area of concern with Oats. We also looked at oil seed rape and spring barley.

Disease levels in spring barley are fairly low this year apart from mildew evident in some varieties, such as Propino. Early sown spring barley and a lot of the later sown has received its T1 and if not should do so this week. There are a wide range of options for spring barley disease control with most opting for the inclusion of an SDHI or a Proline based mix with Corbel where mildew is an issue

The evening finished off with a barbecue, drinks and a prize draw laid on by Glanbia for all attending. These walks are good, even though most of the information farmers will know already, you will always pick up something that will be helpful.

Grain prices!

Grain prices are still very poor and seem to be mirroring last year at the moment. Even with forward selling, the opportunities to get a decent price have simply not been there.

While there are some rumblings about the possible downgrading of yield potential of the UK crops, prices are still largely flat. Let’s hope that things improve over the next few weeks running up to harvest.

Finally, it’s that time of year again if you haven’t already done so to get your harvesters out and get them ready for work. Last year Winter Barley started around July 17, so it won’t be long coming around.

SEE ALSO – Colm Fingleton: More research needed if we’re to be serious about producing distilling barley



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Colm Fingleton is a tillage farmer based in Ratheniska near Stradbally. He is well known in farming circles and a regular contributor to farming media. Colm was one of the host farmers for the National Ploughing Championships when they were held in Ratheniska from 2013 to 2015. He has a keen interest in all things motoring from classics to performance, motor events, car clubs and racing.