by Brian Daly
February is the last month of winter in terms of the calendar year. For tillage and other agricultural sectors it’s seen a key planning month for the season ahead. Being prepared and being ready to go when conditions allow can prove vital in a month with proves to be extremely changing and challenging. It again looks like we’ll be facing into another season of high fertiliser prices. Unfortunately, it’s coming to the time where it’s going to have to be spread no matter the cost. These high inputs again make it massively important that we make use of soil sample results. We need to be aware of our indexes and what each individual field/crop needs. In Winter Barley the early application of Nitrogen is key for tiller survival, aim to have 30-40 units of N out by the middle of February but of course this all comes down to if conditions allow. We should also aim to spread 30% of the crops requirement by mid February, 50% by April and the remainder in the following 10-15 days.
As the back end last year didn’t really lend itself to getting out with a pre or post emergence spray for weeds it means most tanks will be under pressure due to a wider range of weeds present on ground level. As always splitting tanks is the recommended solution when we have a concoction of mixes going in together. A simple and easy tip is using a spray jug and mixing a small amount of each spray in it first before throwing vast amounts in a sprayer and seeing a reaction on a bigger scale.
The use of an early spring plant growers regulator is key in terms of breaking apical dominance and giving tillers the encouragement they need to grow up and even out the plant. Along with your growth regulator trace elements should also be on the checklist for your tank mix. Gs15-32 is the optimum time to apply your trace elements. Little and often is the approach that should be applied as the crop is continuously growing.
Discussing the above with your local Liffey Mills technical advisor will help growers create a plan for the upcoming growing season.