Farm Ireland

Tuesday 23 January 2018

Consider cross-compliance regulations when applying late nitrogen to crops

HEALTHY INCREASE: Applying late nitrogen can boost the protein content of wheat by 0.15 to 1pc
HEALTHY INCREASE: Applying late nitrogen can boost the protein content of wheat by 0.15 to 1pc

APPLYING late nitrogen on milling wheat can boost the protein content by 0.15 to 1pc, but you need to keep an eye on cross- compliance rules as they only allow a maximum of 30kg/ha of additional nitrogen on a milling crop.

There are generally two options. Apply the additional 30kg/ha (25 units/acre) of nitrogen in granular form at the flag leaf stage of the crop. This is a very effective method in damp conditions, but it's not as effective if dry weather follows the application.

Option two is applying foliar (liquid) nitrogen later on at the milky ripe stage. This can be more effective, particularly in dry conditions, but beware that there is also the risk of leaf scorch.

If you opt for the liquid approach, apply urea in a 10pc nitrogen solution by dissolving 25kg of urea in 25 gallons of water. This will supply 23 units of nitrogen. Leaving a black plastic tank full of water in warm sunshine will increase the temperature of the water and help to dissolve the urea.

Spring barley

The wetter weather has seen the appearance of mildew which was conspicuous by its absence during the drier spring period.

March sown spring barley crops are between awnes, emerging and starting to head out at this stage, so growers are getting the final fungicide applications on spring barleys over the next two weeks.

Crops are generally clean, but rhynchosporium is little more evident than it has been in recent years. Net blotch is generally at low levels.

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The final fungicide should typically consist of a half to two thirds rate of triazole (Opus, Proline) and a third to two thirds of a strobilurin (Amistar, Modem, Galileo). A product to control mildew should be included at about half-rate on mildew-prone varieties. A chlorothalonil, like Bravo, could be included with the triazole as an anti-resistance strategy.

Wild oats

Constant vigilance is required to control wild oats in cereal crops. Keeping fields clean by pulling up the wild oats by hand is a good investment of time and energy, particularly if crops for seed are being grown in the rotation. Spraying is the best option in fields with higher ratios of wild oats.

In wheat crops, Axial, Puma Extra, Topic or Cheetah Super can be used up to the flag leaf stage. In barley crops, Arial can be used up to flag leaf, while Puma Extra cannot be used after growth stage 31.

Finally, make sure you apply the correct rates in dense crops as side tillers of the wild oat plant, down in the canopy, can survive even where the main stem has been killed.

Irish Independent