Record heat in November
Published 30/11/2011 | 06:00
Record temperatures in parts of the country during November have led to unseasonally high rates of growth in both grass and cereal crops.
Air temperatures are almost 3Â°C higher than normal at Dublin Airport, the highest on record for this time of the year.
Around the rest of the country, temperatures were anywhere from 2.5-3.5Â°C higher than normal. However, more than 50mm of rain is predicted for the west coast over the coming days, with the southwest worst affected.
Moorepark's Michael O'Donovan said that they had delayed closing up paddocks by a few days, but that the management plan for winter grazing would not change significantly.
"Even if we get an extra 300kg/ha of growth over the winter similar to 2007-2008, it'll be a bonus in the spring when we never have enough grass," he said.
However, Teagasc's John Donworth is concerned about respiratory and bacterial disease levels in sheds during the warm weather.
"Stock in older style buildings that were housed early due to the wet weather are at risk," he said. He also recommended farmers not to carry covers of more than 1,200kg/ha over the winter.
Oakpark's Tim O'Donovan said that disease and aphid levels were normal despite increased tillering. "I wouldn't wory about crops are running out of nutrition since plants need to be entering dormancy soon anyway," he said.