How to make the most of organics and minimise costly fertiliser bills
The Taoiseach has talked about making this the best little country to do business in and whatever your political persuasion it is obvious he still has quite a lot of work to do to achieve this.
There is no doubt, however, that this is the best little country for producing a variety of weather that can frustrate to the point of despair and then in the space of a few days lift the spirits and makes us all happy to be alive and farming.
This harvest and autumn is a good example of this phenomenon.
We have just ended the longest, most drawn out and frustrating harvest for a very long time and while yields have been exceptional there were many sleepless nights encountered by farmers before their harvest was safe. Yet this was followed by possibly the best ever sowing season encountered in many a long year.
Since the sowing of winter barley commenced in mid-September conditions have never been as good with a result that the winter sown acreage has increased. It appears, from trade sources, that winter barley sowings are up about 7-8pc on 2014 sowings which in itself had record winter barley sowings.
Winter wheat sowing is in full flow at the moment but certainly looks like ending up at possibly 15-20pc up on last year which would bring us to 62,000 to 64,000 hectares of wheat nationally. This is still behind the highs of 80,000ha previously reached.
Other crops, such as winter oil seed rape and oats will probably hold their own in the acreage sown compared to last year.
Considering the prices farmers are achieving when settling accounts, this increase is surprising until you consider the weather that we have enjoyed recently.