Winter oats ruined by big freeze but barley and wheat looking really well
Published 25/01/2011 | 05:00
I've ploughed 40ac of winter oats back into the ground after it failed due to the freezing conditions and I will plough in another 10ac shortly. This was a spring variety, Husky, and the root system appears to have died, even though there is a small green shoot above ground.
This crop had a good snow cover for the first frost, but the second frost last month did the damage. I decided to plough it all back in because even if some of the plants survived, it would not have been a viable crop.
Replanting that land with spring oats will take place around the end of February or mid-March, depending on the weather.
I'm lucky to have enough seed to replace those 50ac because seed is scarce and there is talk of imported English seed costing €590/t, that's €120-140/t more than Irish seed cost last autumn.
Another 35ac of a true winter variety, Mascani, survived the frost with no problems and looks perfect at the moment. Horsey people love the Mascani variety because it's a lovely golden grain, but the rest of the oats goes on contract to Flahavans.
Looking at the winter crops, the 150ac of winter barley and 150ac of winter wheat are looking really well at this stage.
The winter wheat was sown early, between September 10 and 15, because I know that my ground is colder than the surrounding area and I like the crop to be well established before the cold weather sets in.
It looks like this year's crop was well able to put up with the freezing conditions. I used JB Diego again as it performed well at the last harvest, averaging 3.5t/ac.