Farm Ireland

Friday 22 March 2019

Farmers plead for help as crops face being wiped out by heatwave

Kevin Nolan, pictured at Grangeford Farm in Carlow. Picture Dylan Vaughan
Kevin Nolan, pictured at Grangeford Farm in Carlow. Picture Dylan Vaughan
Laura Lynott

Laura Lynott

Farmers fear their crops will be wiped out by the heatwave – even if it rains this weekend.

Many expect they could lose half or more of their yield, which would mean a similar loss of income.

And they are hoping that if  that happens, there will be State or EU assistance to help them out, according to Carlow tillage farmer Kevin Nolan (39).

Mr Nolan, who farms  1,400 acres, added that the Government needed to inform the EU of how badly the heatwave was affecting the industry in Ireland.

“We haven’t had rain in quite a long time,” he said. “We are expecting rain in the next few days, so that’s a good thing – that we’ll get some relief –but it won’t be enough to satisfy the crops. For many crops, it’s too late.”

The farming industry believes that Wexford is one of the worst affected areas because of heavy snowfall in spring, heavy rain and now a prolonged dry spell.

It is feared consumers will start witnessing the results of the climate on their shelves, with a shortage of Irish produce. “Spring crops are going through a very difficult time, some have received only minimum reciprocation through sowing and now at a crucial time, we need moisture,” said Mr Nolan.

“I’m doing everything short of praying.”

Water conservation measures have also worsened the situation.

Irish Independent