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The ‘Brian Cody approach’ to grass weed control

Garden Agriland.ie

The Brian Cody approach needs to be taken in the control of grass weeds on tillage farms – you have to hit its weak spots.
'The Brian Cody approach needs to be taken in the control of grass weeds on tillage farms – you have to hit its weak spots.That was the analogy that Ciarán Collins – Teagasc tillage specialist – used at this week’s grass weed control event held this week on the farm of Brian and Eoin Lyons outside Ballyragget in Co.Kilkenny.Many of those weak spots can be hit using cultural control methods. “The best way to sum this up is that you target the weaknesses of the pest or the weed that you’re trying to deal with.” Mentioning the All-Ireland on Sunday, Ciarán stated: “I’m sure Brian Cody is looking for weaknesses in the Tipperary team.” He added that he wont be putting the star forward on the strongest defender.Ciarán Collins speaking about integrated pest management at a recent Teagasc event on grass weeds “Black-grass and Brian Cody – I don’t know if we’d put them in the same category, but you’re trying to target the weakness all of the time.The obvious one here for us is spring planting. “You’re trying to target the weakness and for me the biggest one is probably rotation.” For example, sowing spring barley or oilseed rape in a rotation with winter wheat can significantly reduce black-grass infestation.Spring cropping can reduce black-grass levels by 88%, according to the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB). Ciarán explained that implementing cultural control methods as part of an integrated pest management strategy is essential when dealing with black-grass.He also pointed out that work in the UK, where black-grass is a huge issue, has shown that ploughing can reduce black-grass infestation by 69%. In winter crops, delayed drilling can reduce these numbers further.Other factors like establishing competitive crops through increased seeding rates and competitive varieties can also significantly reduce black-grass populations.Ciarán added that the use of a herbicide is the last thing to do in black-grass control and that cultural control methods are what will have the biggest impact on the control of the grass weed. . The post The ‘Brian Cody approach’ to grass weed control appeared first on Agriland.ie .'

What grass growth response can I expect from spreading nitrogen this month?

Garden Agriland.ie

It is well documented that every blade of grass that an animal eats represents a saving on winter feed costs and will have a positive impact on its live-weight gain.
'It is well documented that every blade of grass that an animal eats represents a saving on winter feed costs and will have a positive impact on its live-weight gain.Grazed grass is the cheapest feed and suckler beef farmers must maximise the length of the grazing season (weather permitting); the opportunity to maximise grass availability is vitally important – especially when ground temperatures remain on the high side and conditions are favourable.However, each individual farm is different and stocking rates vary on every farm, but for the most part drystock farms are lower than dairy operations.By knowing the number of days ahead in the rotation, farmers will know if they have enough grass built for the autumn.Teagasc recommends that stretching the rotation is the best way to achieve this.Source: Teagasc For the most part and in most regions, grass growth this year has been good, and there is plenty of grass available on farms.With this in mind, some farmers may question when is the best time to go out with the last round of fertiliser.Teagasc research estimates the average response to every 1kg of nitrogen (N) applied – during early August, early September and early October – in the graph below.Approximately 30kg of N/ha (24 units of N/ac) was applied to test response levels.The grass growth response to the N application in early August was 27kg of DM (dry matter) per kilogram of N.In September, 19kg of DM per kilogram of N was achieved.Naturally, the lowest response was in October, when a growth response of 10kg of DM per kilogram of N was recorded.What does this imply?From the above figures, farmers can grow almost 1.5 times more grass when N is spread in August rather than September.For example, if we take a farm – with a stocking rate of 2.5LU/ha – and spread 30kg of N/ha, taking a growth response of 27kg of DM/kg of N applied, this results in 810kg of DM/ha of grass or 20 days grazing/cow.However, again taking a farm with a stocking rate of 2.5LU/ha, but applying 30kg of N/ha in September, this will result in 570kg of DM/ha (30kg of N X 19kg of DM/ha) or 14 days grazing/cow.Teagasc estimates that every day at grass in autumn is worth €1.80/cow at a stocking rate of 2.5LU/ha.This, Teagasc says, is a difference of €27/ha when fertiliser is applied in August rather than September; on a 30ha farm, it is worth €810.Remember, the prohibited application period for chemical fertiliser starts on September 15. . The post What grass growth response can I expect from spreading nitrogen this month? appeared first on Agriland.ie .'

A slow get-away? – Gardai investigate theft of lawn mower in Kilkenny City

Garden KilkennyNow.ie

GARDAI are investigating whether thieves made a slow getaway after a ride-on lawnmower was taken from a garden shed.The green ride-on lawnmower was stolen from a shed at the rear of a house on the Dunningstown Road, Kilkenny, as well as various
'GARDAI are investigating whether thieves made a slow getaway after a ride-on lawnmower was taken from a garden shed.The green ride-on lawnmower was stolen from a shed at the rear of a house on the Dunningstown Road, Kilkenny, as well as various other items.The mower is valued at €1,300.The incident occurred early yesterday afternoon.Gardai are looking into whether the thieves had a trailer waiting to load the stolen mower onto.Gardaí are appealing for anyone who was in the area between 11 am and 1 pm yesterday and may have noticed anything suspicious, to contact Kilkenny gardai on 056 777 5000. \t\t \t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t \t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t \t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t \t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t \t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t \t\t \t\t   . The post A slow get-away? – Gardai investigate theft of lawn mower in Kilkenny City appeared first on KilkennyNow.ie .'

MICHAEL WOLSEY: ‘In garden warfare, it’s who you know that counts’

Garden KilkennyNow.ie

I KNOW little to nothing about gardening, which is a pity for I have quite a substantial garden front and back.I keep it under control by a form of trench warfare.
'I KNOW little to nothing about gardening, which is a pity for I have quite a substantial garden front and back.I keep it under control by a form of trench warfare.I go over the top twice a year, in spring and autumn, emerging from my house with all the weapons I can muster; things for mowing and chopping, for slashing and burning.I hope to catch the enemy by surprise and reduce him to the point of unconditional surrender – the brambles and weeds banished, the shrubs and bushes cut to the stalk and even the non-combatant flowers looking cowed and docile.I never quite manage it.After an hour or two of hand to branch combat I have had enough and settle for a ceasefire.I can’t claim outright victory but I can make an orderly retreat, safe in the knowledge that it will be six months at least before my foe dares to confront me again.This year I launched my usual spring offensive and retired happy that the enemy had been put in his place.He didn’t stay there for long.The combination of wet and warm weather, in this season we call summer, has emboldened the plant brigade and their allies, the shrubs, thorns, brambles and wild grass.They massed on my borders a few weeks ago, and advanced on the house at an alarming rate.I had not seen the enemy so strong before and feared I could not confront it by myself.Time to call in paid mercenaries, I thought.But I number many oddities among my friends – golfers, anglers, vegans, and, as it turned out, two gardeners.When I mentioned my dilemma to them, they brushed aside the idea of paying to get the job done.Forget about the mercenaries, they declared, for they were battle-hardened veterans and would face the foe without flinching.They arrived at my door within days and I could see right away where I has been going wrong.Their weaponry was Nato’s finest whereas mine might have been borrowed from the San Marino defence forces.Their lawn mower could have eaten mine – and might have done if I hadn’t got it out of the way in time.Their cutting and hacking tools made mine look like a bulk purchase from Smyths Toys.They even brought spades (for digging new trenches?) and something called a hoe.My offer of assistance was flatly rejected.This was not a job for amateurs.So I went to get a few beers for when they took a break.But these two did not believe in breaks.Their assault had the ferocity of a plague of locusts.My garden was vanishing before my eyes.And as the weeds and thorns disappeared strange things began emerging from what had been the undergrowth: a deflated World Cup 14 football, lost by my grandchildren in, presumably, 2014; a Zippo cigarette lighter which had been my pride and joy until I gave up smoking 18 years ago; the remote control from an old television.This was getting out of hand.It had to stop before the television itself put in an appearance.I was happy to settle for my usual ceasefire but these two wanted nothing less than total surrender.One man, with a large strimming device, made a dash at an inoffensive piece of hedge while his fellow fanatic, armed with motorised clippers, attacked a verge that had not yet shown the white flag.In the end, I prevailed, and we stood back to admire the battlefield.And I had to admit that it did not look much like the site of a recent and terrible conflict – just a well-maintained garden.As I said, I know little to nothing about gardening.But it’s not what you know, it’s who you know that counts.                   . The post MICHAEL WOLSEY: ‘In garden warfare, it’s who you know that counts’ appeared first on KilkennyNow.ie .'

Smart Farming launches updated water guidance for farmers

Garden Agriland.ie

Smart Farming has launched updated water guidance, to support farmers work in improving water quality and reducing the risk of penalties.
'Smart Farming has launched updated water guidance, to support farmers work in improving water quality and reducing the risk of penalties.The resource efficiency programme is run by the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Under the newly updated guidance two aspects are focused on, namely water conservation and protecting water quality.On water conservation, it encourages farmers to: Understand current water use, by studying the water bills; Locate and fix leaks to save money; and Reduce use by recycling water.Meanwhile, regarding protecting water quality, the guidance document encourages farmers to: Think about how the farmyard is “plumbed” to the local stream; Take specific actions to reduce risks of water pollution and subsequent penalties; and Ensure that there is good drinking water quality, by properly constructing wells.Smart Farming programme leader and IFA environment chairman Thomas Cooney commented on the updated guidance. “Farmers are the custodians of the rural environment and their increasing participation in the voluntary Smart Farming programme demonstrates their willingness and desire to focus on both improving their farm returns while enhancing the rural environment. “I believe this updated water guidance will help farmers achieve these two objectives,” he added.Mary Frances Rochford, EPA programme manager in the EPA’s Office of Environmental Sustainability, also spoke about the guidelines, adding: “We must do more to halt deterioration in water quality so that we protect this most precious public resource.Smart Farming plays an important role in addressing water conservation and water quality in the farming sector.Successful implementation of the measures need wide and willing take-up by the farming community.Catherine Seale-Duggan from the Local Authority Waters Programme welcomed the additional information provided on water protection and conservation, noting that farming is essential for maintaining and improving water quality. . The post Smart Farming launches updated water guidance for farmers appeared first on Agriland.ie .'

Do you know what grass varieties you will sow this autumn?

Garden Agriland.ie

Reseeding can often be a daunting task for many farmers as there are a lot of things that need to be taken into consideration; choosing which grass varieties to sow being one of them.
'Reseeding can often be a daunting task for many farmers as there are a lot of things that need to be taken into consideration; choosing which grass varieties to sow being one of them.However, during a reseeding event held by Germinal Ireland, Mary McEvoy – a technical development manager with Germinal – outlined some of the key things that farmers need to take into consideration when picking the most suitable grass varieties for a new reseed.The first place to start, according to Mary, is to “look at the Pasture Profit Index (PPI) or the recommended list”. “The PPI is like an EBI for grass varieties.It quantifies the key traits from a grass production perspective,” explained Mary.Persistency In terms of the persistency value, Mary explained: “Zero is indicating a variety that is lasting 12 years or more. “Although some varieties have a persistency of minus five and others have a persistency of minus 11; if it is minus five, it is indicating that it is lasting 11 years, and if it minus 11 it is lasting 10 years.” However, Mary noted that the real driver of persistency in a grass sward is soil fertility . Quality Furthermore, Mary pointed out that the quality sub-index is hugely important when it comes to grazing mixes. “The difference between the highest quality variety and the lowest quality variety on the PPI is €94/ha/year.Explaining the reason for this, Mary said: “With a higher quality variety the animal will eat more, which is going to have a positive effect on animal production. “The reverse of that is lower-quality varieties have more fibre going into the rumen – so they fill the cow up quicker – and she will be eating less of a lower quality feed.This will have a knock-on effect on the performance of the cow. “So, it is important that your mixes contain varieties that are performing very well on the quality sub-index,” she added.Tetraploid vs. diploid In relation to the percentage of tetraploid versus diploid varieties in a mix, Mary said: “My advice is to have a 50:50 mix of tetraploid versus diploid – under good soil conditions or where the ground can take that amount of tetraploid. “In the case of tetraploid in the sward, animals will graze them out and utilise them better which means that they can consume more of them. “Diploid, on the other hand, brings the density to the sward – attacking like a carpet and minimising the risk of poaching.Consequently, for heavier soils the proportion of diploid in the mix can be increased for greater ground cover. “If you had a pure tetraploid sward it would be quite open and much more susceptible to poaching damage.” Heading date Mary also made reference to the heading date of the varieties.This is when the variety turns reproductive and when this happens the quality declines.Advising farmers, she said: “If you have a narrow range in heading date it is much easier to pinpoint the optimum time to go in and graze that sward – to get it back to its vegetative state.Also, with a silage mixture, once the sward turns reproductive you start to loose 3% to 4% of dry matter digestibility [DMD] on a weekly basis. “Again, a narrow range allows you to get in before it turns reproductive.” White Clover Going forward, the inclusion of clover in our mixtures is going to become more and more important.Touching finally on clover, she said: “There is huge value in including clover in your mixes, but there are some management issues to bear in mind.Also Read: Grass-clover sward has the potential to deliver ‘€305/ha extra net profit per year’ “If you haven’t included it on your farm up until now, don’t go mad including 1.5kg when you are reseeding; start at 0.5kg or maybe 1kg; but don’t go any higher. “Build it gradually across the farm, so you’re not going from a field with no clover to a huge amount of clover on the farm.” . The post Do you know what grass varieties you will sow this autumn? appeared first on Agriland.ie .'

Grass production: Thinking below the ground…

Garden Agriland.ie


'“Oftentimes farmers think about what is above the ground because that is what is going to feed the cows; but what is below the ground is our most precious on-farm resource.” This was a statement made by Bill Reilly – a regional manager with Germinal Ireland – during Germinal Ireland’s reseeding event which was held this week, on Wednesday, August 7.Opening the discussion on soil health, Bill said: “Every tonne of dry matter [DM] produced on farm is worth €170 and where we have soil compaction taking place, we estimate that we have a yield reduction of up to 20-25%; so, it is costing you money. “People focus on soil fertility, but I think more and more people are beginning to look at soil health and simply getting out with a spade is going to tell you a lot.” Also involved in the discussion – on the day – was Teagasc’s Mark Plunkett who had some soil samples on display to demonstrate and explain the effects that different soil structures can have on the grass plant.Advising farmers on how they can assess the soil on their farms, he said: “If you take a spade and take out the top 20cm to 25cm of soil, assess it and see how good it is in terms of soil structure. “The first thing you are looking at is the colour of the soil – you are looking for a nice rich-brown colour.This indicates that the soil is healthy, well structured and there is good nutrient availability.Secondly, you need to look at the shape and the size of the aggregates.” On display on the day were two soil samples.In one, the soil aggregates were small, contained lots of roots and broke down very easily; it crumbled in Mark’s hand.In the second, the aggregates were more blocky in nature and much more difficult to break down – as they were compacted together.This sample was sourced from the area around the drinking trough in the paddock.Explaining why this is not a favorable soil structure, Mark said: “This sample has been poached; it is not a nice place for earthworms and in terms of nutrient availability, they would not be as available as the previous sample. “It’s just about trying to manage our soils as best we can – such as in the shoulders of the year or when the contractor arrives; to minimise the damage.” But what is the solution?Finally, Mark advised farmers on what they can do with soil which has been damaged – due to poaching or by machinery.Farmyard manure is probably the number one solution because you are putting a food source on the surface of the ground, to encourage the earthworms to break up that damaged layer. “So, if there is an area of your farm that is performing poorly – due to damage to the soil structure – target the farmyard manure to these areas,” concluded Mark. . The post Grass production: Thinking below the ground… appeared first on Agriland.ie .'