Promising outlook on harvest
Early indications are of a promising harvest, despite a cold spring and disappointing looking spring barley crops.
Many grain growers in the southern half of the country ventured into fields last week to snatch a few tonnes before the mid-week rains arrived.
Initial reports on quality are excellent, with bushel weights ranging from 66-72kph on dried samples.
Winter barleys look more promising than spring barley crops, with a cold April and May blamed for the latter.
While temperatures may have been below normal during the crucial establishment period, Teagasc's Michael Hennessy said that a cooler summer had delayed harvesting by a week or two, and that this could actually benefit final yields.
"The harvest is certainly a week or two later than last year but that might be a good thing in terms of grain fill," said the grain specialist.
However, he said that it was unlikely that grain yields would surpass the records set in recent years.
"It's really too early to tell yet, and even though the first results look promising, I doubt that we'll be setting any records this year," he said.