Grain growers on weather alert as global prices slip
Heavy rains threaten bumper harvest potential
Published 05/08/2015 | 02:30
Broken weather and weakening prices have dampened the bright start to the 2015 grain harvest.
Heavy showers over the last week have led to lodging and shedding in some crops, especially in six-row winter barleys and crops that have been sprayed with glyphosate three weeks ago.
With tomorrow's forecast predicting more heavy downpours across the country, growers are getting more anxious about saving what was promising to be a bumper harvest.
Top growers in the Leinster region reported yields of 4.7-5t/ac in winter barley crops, with winter wheats also looking very promising. Average winter barley yields may be closer to 4t/ac, while the harvest of wheat crops is not expected to commence in earnest for another two weeks.
Quality appears to be on par or slightly below last year's excellent bushel weights, with six-row barley crops suffering more than most.
Grain prices slipped slightly over the last week, with better weather in the US coupled with Chinese stock market jitters lowering quotes by about €2/t.
However, maize prices are holding well, with concerns over the impact of El Nino still in play, and the impact of record July temperatures on European spring sown crops becoming more apparent. Maize crops in France, Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Ukraine and Belarus were worst affected.