Heatwave delivers bumper harvest for tillage farmers
THE brilliant sunshine and high temperatures of the last fortnight look set to deliver a harvest bonus for the country's tillage farmers as they look for better than expected yields on crops.
Combines started to roll into fields in south Tipperary and west Cork yesterday as the harvest for 2013 kicked off.
Over the next three months close to 600,000 acres of cereals will be cut in a harvest worth close to €300m.
The expectations for the cereal harvest have been revised upwards by at least 100,000 tonnes, according to the state research body Teagasc.
After a dismal start to the growing season, crops have improved out of measure in the past six weeks, prompting Teagasc to predict a harvest of around two million tonnes.
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 1.9 million tonnes in early May but crops have improved a fierce amount and now we're looking at close on two million tonnes," he said.