Cereal yields look set to surge 100,000t beyond expectations
As combines begin to roll into fields in south Tipperary and west Cork, expectations for the cereal harvest have been revised upwards by at least 100,000t.
After a dismal start to the growing season, crops have surged forwards in the past six weeks, prompting Teagasc to predict a total harvest of around 2m tonnes for the country.
Teagasc cereals expert Jim O'Mahony said compensatory growth over the past month to six weeks had increased the yields of all crops since May.
"We had been predicting a harvest of 1.9m tonnes in early May but crops have improved a fierce amount and now we're looking at close on 2m tonnes," he said.
Mr O'Mahony predicted winter wheat yields of 9t/ha (3.6t/ac) and spring wheat yields of 8t/ha (3.23t/ac). For winter barley, he predicted yields of 7.7t/ha (3.1t/ac) and for spring barley he predicted crops of 6.3t/ha (2.55t/ac).
Growers in south Tipperary and the Kinsale region are the first to tackle the 2013 crop, with tillage men near Clonmel hoping to start cutting today.
IFA tillage chairman Noel Delany said the earliest crops would consist of early ripening six-row barley varieties such as Volume and Leibniz.
While the predicted higher yields will be welcomed by growers, they will fall short of the record yields achieved by growers in 2001, when winter wheat reached 10t/ha and winter barley reached 9.2t/ha.