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No point in paying over €300 an acre for reseeding if post-management is neglected

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IF you have gone to the trouble and expense of reseeding (up to €320/acre), every effort is needed to ensure that you have a dense, leafy clover/grass sward available for your stock next spring. Post-emergence management of ryegrass and clover seedlings, along with weed control, are both as important as sowing the new ley itself – this care is very much the same whether clover is present or not. 

Post Emergence Management: The aim of reseeding is to allow grass and clover seedlings establish and develop after sowing. Allowing the grass to get too high will shade out the clover seedlings. Grass seedlings will not tiller out in this situation either. Best suggested practice is to first lightly graze the sward with sheep or weanlings before closing for the winter.

This will encourage the young grass plants to tiller out and the sward to thicken up. A light grazing also exposes emerging clover to light and enables it to develop and grow. If possible, delay any cutting of silage for twelve months to allow grass tillering and clover establishment. 

Some light grazing of the reseeded sward may need to be carried out over the winter months to prevent grass from getting too high. A bag of CAN/acre can be applied after 15th January next year with a tight first grazing being undertaken. Avoid poaching of reseeded swards when grazing. Remove stock during periods of heavy rainfall.

 Weed Control: The most cost effective method of weed control is to use a post emergence herbicide.  The best time to control weeds is at the four leaf stage in weed seedlings. By using a clover safe post emergence spray, seedling weeds can be destroyed before they develop and establish root stocks. Established weeds can seriously reduce the yield potential and economic lifetime of the reseeded sward.

The post emergence spray should be applied approximately six weeks after establishment just before the first grazing takes place. Seedling docks and thistles along with tillage weeds such as Redshank, Rat Hen, Charlock and Chickweed can be controlled in newly established swards by using Legumex DB, Alistell, Underclear/Undersown and Mastercrop Undersown.

These sprays will not damage seedling clover after the trifoliate leaf stage; and they will not affect young grass shoots. Alistell and Underclear would be the products of choice if chickweed is present.

For non clover reseed swards, herbicide sprays such as Pastor, Nintex, Dockstar etc can be used. Check with local Agri-Merchants for other herbicide sprays that could be used. These sprays will wipe out any seedling clover present in the new ley. They will control most emerging perennial weeds and tillage weeds.

Again, they should be applied to new swards 6 to 8 weeks post sowing where needed. Follow the manufacturer’s advice on the information leaflet on each pack/container of spray in relation to rates/ha and dilution rates. Ensure to keep the prescribed Cross Compliance records for any chemical spray used.

Pest Control: Pests such as Leatherjackets, Wireworms and Frit flies should not be a problem in grass seedlings if the seedbed and field margins were free of trash and decaying organic material at the time of sowing. This deprives these pests of the environment on which they thrive. Slugs and leatherjackets could be a problem in heavier soils. If infestation is a serious problem, consult your local Teagasc Adviser/Agricultural Consultant or Agri-Merchants on what pesticide to use.

*Anthony O’Connor is a drystock adviser with Teagasc, Athenry. Comments to anthony.oconnor@teagasc.ie 

 

Connacht Tribune

Flexibility and budget worries over direction of new scheme

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Michael Biggins: Disappointed at scheme.

THE new ACRES (Agri Climate Rural Environment Scheme) due to be rolled out on January 1 next is ‘restrictive and complicated’ according to West of Ireland farming representative.

IFA Rural Development Chairman, Michael Biggins, said that the proposed scheme was ‘far from a new REPS’ and urgently needed to be modified in terms of flexibility and budget allocation.

“As it’s currently proposed, ACRES is restrictive and complicated.  It will inflict more compliance costs on farmers, resulting in less income.

“The scheme is designed to discourage people from farming. In order to achieve the average payment, farmers will have to commit more land to lower levels of production compared to previous schemes,” said Michael Biggins.

He added that all farmers who applied needed to be accepted into the scheme while those farmers applying in 2023 would have to be paid in the same year.

Details of the €1.5 billion ACRES scheme were outlined by the Dept. of Agriculture in June with two entry streams – a general or individual one: and a co-operation model for environmentally sensitive area including Connemara and parts of South Galway and Mayo.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

‘Smart villages’: the way forward

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Pictured at the recent opening of the ‘Smart Villages’ office in Mountbellew were: Anne Kinsella, Chairperson of Galway Rural Development; Senator Aisling Dolan; and Minister for Rural Development and Social Protection, Heather Humphreys.

A RECENTLY opened Galway Rural Development (GRD) office in Mountbellew could be the forerunner to similar ‘Smart Villages’ initiatives over the coming years, according to the organisers of the scheme.

The Smart Villages initiative is part of the European Network for Rural Development, aimed at improving services in country areas such as health, social, energy, transport and retail.

The Mountbellew office was officially opened by Minister for Rural/Community Affairs  Heather Humphreys, who said that the initiative marked an important step forward in terms of rural development.

CEO of Galway Rural Development, Steve Dolan, said that last year they had picked out Mountbellew as their pilot location for the Smart Villages project which would offer a lot of opportunities for rural communities mainly through the use of information and communications technology

“Smart Village training has been developed and delivered, up-skilling many in the community in local development, connectivity, sustainability, and more. The opening of this office in Mountbellew is as a result of our shared efforts,” said Steve Dolan.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Anger as factories continue to chop lamb price

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Stephen Canavan: No reason for price cuts.

THE meat plants have been accused of trying ‘to make a fast buck’ on the backs of sheep farmers with lamb prices now back by a euro per kilo, as compared to just over a month ago.

Farm leaders have said that the factories are trying ‘to tough it out’ before more finished lambs begin to come on the market over the next month or so.

Galway IFA Chairman,  Stephen Canavan, told the Farming Tribune that there was no good reason for the chain of factory price cuts over the past five weeks or so.

“All the information we are getting is that the supply of finished lambs is still quite limited but the factories have obviously taken a decision to cut now, before the number of finished lambs increase through the Autumn.

“It’s just another example of the meat plants trying to make a fast buck at the expense of the primary producer at a time when input costs for farmers have never been as high,” said Stephen Canavan.

Lamb prices are this week hovering at the €6.50 per kg mark – down from a high of over €7.50 per kg in late June, equating to a price drop for farmers of around €20 per lamb.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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