The farm sector is teetering on the cusp of a serious drought this week, with grass covers crashing on highly stocked farms and cereal crops on light land under severe stress.
Although rain is forecast for northern counties from tonight, and for the rest of the country as the week progresses, it may not be enough to offset the impact of the drought.
"We need 10 days of rain just to keep the dust down," one tillage farmer in south Tipperary said.
Drought conditions have taken hold in the midlands and east, with soil moisture deficits exceeding 70mm in the northeast particularly. The south and west are also facing serious problems, with moisture deficits of 40-50mm recorded on heavy ground.
Cereal crops on light soils are under serious pressure, while grass growth has taken a significant hit across the midlands and east, with many dairy farms forced to feed silage.
This spring was the Phoenix Park's driest since records began in 1837, with drought conditions worse than in the summer of 2018. May, with a total rainfall of 8.3mm, ranks in the top 1pc of driest months on record.
Meanwhile, the dry conditions have prompted a surge in well-drilling, with companies reporting a marked increase in farmer enquiries.
Frank Seery of Well Drilling Ireland said the experience of 2018 and this year had convinced many farmers to invest in sinking their own wells.
"Generally a new well and pump costs somewhere in the region of €5,000 to €7,000," he said.
However, some farm wells are already beginning to run dry, with the water table in the southeast having dropped significantly.
"I'm getting calls from customers who are running out of water," said Derek Cummins of DC Electrical and Mechanical services in Carlow.
"I have a device which I made which can pump water from rivers to farms and there is a lot of demand from around the country for them.
"Farmers need to look more at conserving water and putting in tanks to collect rainwater off shed roofs."