Silage behind in northern half
Silage yields in the south of the country have rebounded in the past week, providing farmers with much-needed fodder in their yards.
With silage safe on many southern farms, the focus is now on repeating the exercise with the second crop.
However, farmers in the midlands, west and northeast are still waiting to tackle their first cut, with growth lagging behind by up to three weeks.
Whyte's contractors in Ballycotton, Co Cork, reported a 50pc improvement in silage yields, with crops harvested in the past week on a par with a normal year.
Brendan Casey of Whyte's said farmers were focused on producing 10-15pc more second cut this year and applying more fertiliser and slurry to produce it.
Fertiliser manufacturers and retailers confirmed that fertiliser sales were up 75-80pc week on week compared to June 2012.
Kanturk contractor Richie O'Connor said silage crops had bulked well. He added that bale yields ranged from five bales per acre in the lowest-yielding paddocks to 10-12/ac in the better crops.
In Limerick, Kilmallock-based contractor Maurice Sheehy said most farmers were planning to take a second cut of 25-75pc of their first cut area.