Sowing gets going again with spring feel in the air
Sowing of spring cereals roared ahead over the weekend as tillage farmers took advantage of the fine weather to set up to 50pc of the spring barley crop.
Farmers in east Cork and south Tipperary were ahead of the pack, with sowing under way by the middle of last week but they were joined by farmers further north over the weekend.
Teagasc tillage specialist Tim O'Donovan said around 20pc of spring barley had been sown in the traditionally early areas by St Patrick's Day.
This was significantly back on last year's spring season when up to half of the spring barley crop was in the ground by the same day.
However, Mr O'Donovan said that last year had been considered a particularly early one.
Speculation on the total acreage of cereals for this year's harvest continues, with spring wheat sales in the south on a par or, so far, even slightly above last year's levels.
Goldcrop's Donal Fitzgerald said the general feeling was that spring cereal seed was selling "surprisingly well" in the southern half of the country.
It had been expected that with winter sowing up, spring sowing would decline somewhat but, so far, this does not appear to be the case.