Jim Brown, Baganelstown, co Carlow
Jim Brown is a member of one of our discussion groups and has moved away from min-till spring barley in favour of winter barley.
He sowed six-row Liebniz last autumn and has had good yields and good quality with a kph of 65. The lighter soil at Mr Brown's farm suits winter barley as moisture usage is maximised.
He feels that, after his first year with min-till winter barley, there was better germination and subsequent plant counts when the fields were rolled immediately after sowing.
Where the seed rate was increased from a standard 125kg/ha (8st) to 155kg/ha (10st/ac), plant counts were also better.
The lighter populations yielded 3.25t/ac and the heavier crops achieved the 4t/ac mark. As a result, Mr Brown will be paying particular attention to thousand grain rate and seeds/m2 for next year's crop.
Early application of nitrogen also proved very important in Baganelstown. This should be carried out regardless of a date or even growth stage because, when growth kicks off in the spring, early nitrogen is required to maintain tiller survival and keep the ears/m2 count as high as possible.
Mr Brown has already noticed that sterile brome is spreading out from the headlands.
This is a major concern, so the fields have been cultivated and rolled once and are greening up nicely and will be sprayed off with at least one more cultivation in the hope to knock out as many brome as possible before the crop is sown.