Co. Down agronomist Richard Owens has confirmed that the winter barley harvest in Northern Eire is full with many growers now pushing forward with winter wheat crops.
“Barley yields had been disappointing for essentially the most half with crops starting from 2.5t-3.5t/ac,” he mentioned.
“Brackling was an actual difficulty in winter barley this 12 months with ears dropping to the bottom.
“Moisture contents got here in at 16% to 25%. In lots of instances, growers have needed to factor-in a reasonably hefty drying price, with a view to get grain down to fifteen% moisture.”
Most barley straw produced in Northern Eire has been rounded up. However high quality is poor.
Some farmers have taken the choice to cut up barley straw and plough it again in. This might be at their very own price, as there isn’t a Straw Incorporation Measure accessible in Northern Eire.
“Some growers are additionally lining the underside of their silos with chopped straw. This may catch a whole lot of the effluent coming off the very moist grass going into pits nowadays,” Owens informed Agriland.
Arable in Northern Eire
Turning to wheat, Owens mentioned that crops are yielding nicely; 3t to 4.5t/ac. However right here once more moisture ranges are very excessive at 18% to 22%.
“Drying expenses are including considerably to growers’ prices throughout the board this 12 months,” he commented.
In the meantime, winter beans are turning out to be one of many success tales in Northern Eire for 2023.
“Crops are wanting nicely nowadays,” Owens confirmed.
“The Protein Help Scheme, providing £300/ha for beans, has actually inspired farmers to push on with the crop.
“Beans require no chemical nitrogen whereas additionally offering an amazing entry level for first wheats inside an arable rotation.”
In response to Owens, the primary of this 12 months’s spring barley crops in Northern Eire might be desiccated throughout the subsequent 10 days to a fortnight.
“The heavy rains of current weeks really introduced on a whole lot of later sown crops, which had been wanting very poor as much as that time,” he mentioned.
“Some crops really went down some weeks in the past. This was a direct results of the heavy rain and robust winds. But it surely’s not the top of the world, because the crops in query had been actively rising on the time.”
In the meantime the realm of crop silages grown in Northern Eire continues to broaden.
“Winter rye is proving widespread with dairy and beef farmers. Crops are extraordinarily excessive yielding with silages performing nicely from an animal efficiency perspective,” Owens mentioned.
“Livestock farmers, for essentially the most half, do not need rain drying services accessible to them. So the prospects of placing in rye throughout September and harvesting it as a crop silage the next July is engaging.
“One other arable silage different that has taken off this 12 months is the combi-crop possibility of peas, spring barley and spring oats.
“Due to the peas, the crop doesn’t require bagged nitrogen. The peas additionally characterize a really priceless protein supply at feed out, significantly for younger inventory.”
Trying forward, Richard Owens believes that devoted arable farmers in Northern Eire will need to push forward with a big acreage of winter crops over the approaching weeks.
“However these dairy and beef farmers who develop smaller acreages of cereals have discovered the harvest of 2023 a tough one to deal with. And the jury is out on whether or not they’ll go once more with a cropping possibility for 2023/2024.”