Cover crops, catch crops, forage crops – it’s the time of year for them. On this week’s Teagasc Tillage Edge Podcast, Richie Hackett gave a run down of the differences, the advantages and the environmental benefits of these crops. A catch crop is used to catch nutrients and prevent them from being lost, such as nitrogen (N), and a green manure is something that’s used to provide a benefit to the next crop in terms of nutrition.
There may have been rain over the past few days, but vegetable growers will be counting the cost of recent drought conditions for a long time to come. Over the past three months vegetable growers have been irrigating crops at every hour of the day. When the job of irrigating is being carried out crops still need to be harvested, and without any irrigation costs over the past number of years packing and labeling has also become a bigger task and access to labour is making things difficult.
Rain is urgently needed to save this season's Northern Ireland potato crop. Stuart Meredith, an agronomist with Wilson's Country potato firm, said a particularly wet autumn, followed by one of the driest springs on record, had caused severe problems that had led to eight months of "absolute extremes for growers".
Minister Michael Creed is being called on to reintroduce support measures relating to crop loss during inclement weather, to assist growers affected by wet conditions at harvest. Mattie McGrath, an independent TD for Tipperary, said the minister should “urgently consider” reintroducing the Weather-Related Crop Loss Support Measure Scheme.
A lot of early crop Rooster growers will finish up harvesting this week. Rainfall is continuing to cause problems for harvesting particularly in Donegal. Some growers have resumed harvesting this week but conditions are quite poor. Digging of the main season crop is expected to commence in the next two weeks.
Some winter barley growers are facing yield losses of 1.5t/ac due to severe problems with barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV). The problems appear to be most prevalent in Leinster where growers report an increased disease pressure. However, all areas are experiencing greater challenges with BYDV infections this harvest.
Pig farmers have been warned there is “no room whatsoever” for complacency in relation to the spread of African swine fever west across Europe, a condition which could wipe out Ireland’s entire pig stock if it entered the country. The condition is a viral disease of pigs and wild boar that is usually fatal. It can result in devastating losses for pig farmers and the pig industry.
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has issued a Condition Orange forest fire danger warning. The warning is valid from today, Monday, May 13, at 12:00pm until Friday, May 17, at 12:00pm. According to a statement from the department, the warning comes as a result of current high pressure easterly weather conditions that are forecast over the coming week.
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