Spring has sprung and sowing of cereals begins

Sowing of spring cereals commenced last week on lighter soils after wet weather delayed planting.

Continuing mild conditions kept winter cereals and oilseed rape growing well and many of these crops are at least two weeks ahead of normal, according to Teagasc.

Meanwhile, good progress has been made with sowing spring beans.

Advisers predict the maize crop area will be lower than in 2011, when it performed very poorly. Sowing of crops under plastic will take place from the end of March in favourable sites.

Another crop which could shrink is fodder beet. Teagasc sources say the acreage fell 13% in 2011, and although frost is less problematic, demand for fodder beet is lower.

Growers are advised to watch newly drilled spring cereals for pest attack, and use fertiliser in accordance with soil sample analysis.

Winter barley crops have responded well to first nitrogen, especially on hungry ground. Isolated incidences of high rhynchosporium levels are reported in southern counties.


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