April Newsletter 2022

Liffey Mills April Newsletter

Tillage Update 2022

by Kevin Egan


The spring drying came just in time this year and it made St Patricks weekend a busy one for all. Lots of drying and good conditions for field work, however growth has been slow. Winter crops have greened up well but haven’t grown much. The dry harsh weather hasn’t helped with crop growth much to date.  In previous years our first fungicides and growth regulators would be applied a while at this stage with our main split of Nitrogen applied also setting the crop up for stem extension.

Growth Stage 31 is the most critical timing for plant growth regulations in terms of laying a solid foundation for having a strong base to your winter crop. If you are pushing for high yield and have a week stem, the crops lodging risk is very high. Lodged crops can create many problems at the harvest ie; uneven ripening, crows, yield loss and combine damage. To avoid all these problems and still achieve high yielding crops a well planned growth regulation programme needs to be used. Often at late tillering products such as K2 or CeCeCe are used to break the crops apical dominance and channel plants energy into its weaker tillers which evens up the crop. Even crops lead to higher yields and less secondary tillers ie, less green grains.

From here the crop is now ready to go into stem extension. The main Nitrogen split will be applied and the crop will begin to grow upward. This period of growth can often be rapid as temperatures rise and Nitrogen begins to work in the plant.  Therefore you must be on the ball with your Growth Regulation timing. At GS31 a combination of (CeCeCe  1l/ha + Moddus .2l/ha) or (CeCeCe 1l/ha + Medax Max .3kg/ha) will keep internode distances tight at the base of the stem and thicken stems to create strong shoots to carry heavy heads of grain. Medax Max is a relatively new product to the Irish market. Consisting of Prohexadione and Trinexapac which together act fast on crop growth but also last for some time within the crop to give persistence regulation. This will lead to more rooting and even crops that increase yield potential and profit. While the GS31 is the most important timing Medax Max has a large window of timing on your crop and can be used to GS 49. This product is also softer on the crop in terms of stress. With our recent weather conditions with cold nights etc will be one of the products of choice this spring.

Between GS 30-32 is best time to apply Fungicides to winter Barley this can be incorporated with PGR.  Trials have proven that a three spray programme gives best results. Depending on crop condition canopy size, sowing date, weather etc will determine fungicide choice and rates. At Liffey Mills we have access to all the top banded Fungicides to achieve best results in your cropping production. Macfare @ .8l/ha, or Decoy + Comet @.4l/ha+.5l/ha, Velogy Era @.8l/ha or Coyote @.8l/ha will offer excellent control at T1. Controlling Rhinco, Net Blotch, Rust, Mildew, Ramularia. Folpet isn’t required at T1 if a T2 is being applied mid Stem extension GS32-37.

In the last few seasons Rust in wheat has been requiring special attention, showing up in crops from an early stage. An application of a  T0  Strob will offer excellent rust control  +/- Talius for preventative or Midas for curative mildew control if present in Wheat. This leads on to our T1 timing (third last leaf) Revystar @1.25l/ha, Lentyma 1.25l/ha, Velogy Era @1l/ha or Questar + Proteb 1.5l/ha + 1l/ha will all offer excellent control. Discuss options with your Liffey Mills agronomist.  Your T1 on winter Oats will be Decoy + Comet or Macfare.

Spring Barley planting is well under way across the country. The recent dry weather has left conditions very favourable with seed beds perfect. Good firm fine seed beds achieved. Aim to sow spring barley from around 300-330 seeds per m squared. Check bag thousand grain weight to achieve perfect seed rates. Gangways thousand grain weight is 47.5. Therefore 47.5 x 300 = 14,250. Divide that by percentage germination of 85%. 14250 ÷85=167.6kg/ha seeding rate. Make sure to consolidate seeds after sowing to achieve good seed germination and protect against pest and root lodging. If you struggle with Meadow grass in your spring Barley ground a pre emergence spray of Tower @2l/ha can provide excellent results. However it must be applied almost immediately after sowing to avoid any crop damage. Discuss all your seeding options with your local Liffey Mills technical advisor.

Liffey Mills Spreading Service

Liffey Mills offer a bulk spreading service from all our branches.


  • Quick & Convienent
  • Uses GPS Technology
  • Spread evenly & Accurately

Grass Seed 2022

by Jack Doherty


Liffey Mills are now entering our fifth season with our exclusive grass seed range. These are closely picked from the Teagasc Pasture profit index (PPI) and the Department of Agricultures recommended list on perennial ryegrasses and clovers. To add to our famed and popular Sweet Sward, Gold Sward, Silage sward and Sward Maker we have added two new mixtures to further enhance our offering;

Tetra sward;  a 100% Tetraploid mix. This mix has been developed for intensive grazing where a farmer wants maximum digestibility and offers exceptional yield of utilisble feed. With this in mind we selected the 3 most digestible varieties on the market. This includes Nashota (5kg); AstonEnergy (4kg), Xenon (2kg) and white clover at 1kg, all of which excel at graze out and sward performance.

Red Clover Silage; increasing in popularity over the last number of years and this only set to continue this year, as farmers seek forage alternatives to increase sustainability. Red clover produces high yields of high quality protein feed. It grows tall and is used primarily for silage production. Farmers generally get 3 to 4 cuts at 6 to 8 weeks intervals throughout the year, and it is not to be cut below 7cm. Red Clover silage will usually have a crude protein content of 15-20% It is highly digestible and palatable leading to a high intake. With this in mind we have decided to develop a mix to provide a high quality alternative to standard silage crops. With Fintona (T)(4kg), Moira (D)(3.5kg), Red Clover (4kg) and White clover (0.6kg).  Red clover offers a great opportunity for a Zero Nitrogen sward only needing to be fertilised with Phosphorus and Potassium.  Our already existing mixtures have also been further developed to include the latest top grass varieties. Please contact your Liffey Mills advisor or any branch for up to date technical information and advice to select a grass mixture to work for your system.

Concentrate Feed Levels for April

 by Mark Flannery & Willie Boland


A cow that calved in early February will be hitting peak milk supply shortly, it is essential as she comes under pressure with production that her diet is not changed drastically or concentrate feeds reduced by too much. A cow needs approx. 6.5 UFL for maintenance and an additional 0.4 UFL of energy to produce 1 litre of milk.

A cow hitting peak yield producing 27 litres of milk needs (27 x 0.4) 10.8 + 6.5 = 17.3 UFL intakes just to maintain herself. A typical April diet would see cows out by day and night and many on a grass based diet with all silage being removed at this point. The UFL value of this grass is approx. 0.91 UFL.

A quick sum: if a cow’s intake at peak production is 19 kg Dry Matter and she is getting 4 kg of dairy cubes @ 0.95 UFL with remainder of diet coming from grass @ 0.91 UFL,

4kg cubes = 18% intake @ 0.95 UFL = 3.80 UFL

Grass intake = 82% intake @ 0.91 UFL = 14.10 UFL

Total UFL intake is 17.90 UFL, total requirement to maintain condition is 17.30UFL, hence based on above simple diet a cow should in fact build on her condition as she approaches the breeding season.

Our 2022 breeding range includes:

  • OPTISAF LEADER- cereal based cube with full rate protected minerals and full rate Levucell live yeast to aid against sub-acute rumen acidosis, issues seen when cows are on lush pastures.
  • HI PHOS BREEDER – mirrored on our most popular Dairy Leader Cube, we have included high levels of phosphorus in this cube for anyone encountering phos deficiencies on farm.
  • DAIRY DYNAMIC – a low protein content high energy feed with megalac containing full rate protected minerals and live yeast, calmag inclusion is based on a 4kg plus feeding rate and is aimed at the high genetic merit herd that require a higher level of concentrate feed for maintenance.
  • MASTER PASTURE – cereal based 14% cube with standard minerals and calmag for 2kg. This cube can be fed at higher levels If required and will perfectly slot into a feed program for the average yielding herd.

For a full range of dairy concentrate feed options and breeder feeds please contact your local branch, technical sales advisor or log onto www.liffeymills.ie

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