Deluge pushes silage harvest to crisis point
'Terrible situation' reported with first cut up to four weeks late
Contractors and farmers are hitting crisis point with the harvesting of the silage crop as the worst June weather in decades has taken a heavy toll on the work.
Reports from around the country indicate that around 40pc of the first cut has been harvested, with the season running between two and four weeks later than normal.
However, rapidly deteriorating ground conditions -- particularly on heavy soils in the southwest, west and northwest -- has slowed progress in many areas to a snail's pace.
Between 60pc and 70pc of the first cuts have been harvested in the dry lands of the south and east, but the rate may be as low as 25-30pc in some of the heavier soils in the west and northwest.
At a meeting of contractors in Co Meath on Thursday night. it was estimated that only 40pc of the first cut had been harvested nationally and up to 50pc in the north-east.
There are now mounting fears for the second cut of silage, because of the delay in completing the first cut.
June is on course to be one of the wettest on record with rainfall up to four times greater than normal.