Our week: Martin and Matt Garrigan, Balheary, Co Dublin
Published 30/09/2015 | 02:30
The Garrigans have just finished the spring barley and are ready to harvest their winter bean crop at the family's 300ac tillage farm in Balheary outside Swords in Co Dublin.
"It's our first time with the crop so it will be interesting to see what the 50ac yield", says Matt Garrigan, an Ag Science student at UCD who helps his father Martin run the enterprise.
The next job is planting the cover crops, oats and radishes this year, to improve organic matter and soil strength in advance of next year's growing season.
Over the winter, the Garrigans will review their decision to switch from tractor ploughing to direct drilling a year ago.
Young Matt is impressed with the Mzuri drill they bought from Kelly's of Borris, while dad Martin is a little more cautious: "I am about 70pc convinced about the change. If the yields hold up over the next year or two I'll be happy," he says.
"It's very weather dependent. We have heavier soil than the Wexford and Carlow lads so you wouldn't go drilling in mucky conditions.
"You have to wait for your window of opportunity weather-wise."
Matt counters with the agri -research on the question from sources worldwide and on balance it looks as though the Garrigans will be drilling on.