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Potential 26,000ha shortfall in seed for spring planting

Teagasc’s National Tillage Conference 2024 kicked off this morning with head of Crops Knowledge Transfer Department, Michael Hennessy, presenting the results of a winter planting survey.

The main headline from the survey carried out between December 18 to January 15 with usable data from 414 farmers respondents, revealed that there will potentially be a shortfall in seed for spring planting of 26,000 hectares.
The conference heard that some winter crops have been damaged by water logging, slugs and poor emergence conditions. Not all winter crops were sown so that has resulted in a bigger area for spring planting.
For poor emergence winter crops, farmers must question if there are sufficient plants – a minimum 10 plants/sq metre. If not, then leave fallow, or retill and replant are the options.
Sowing winter wheat or winter barley seed could be considered up to mid-February. Growers must decide if they will replant with winter or spring seed, or sow winter or spring wheat or barley.
Spring malting barley is the most economic option if it suits land type and crop rotation. The biggest challenges are getting weather and soil conditions right and securing seed, some of which is being imported from as far away as Poland.