Farm Ireland

Friday 19 January 2018

Tillage men report yields of up to 4t/ac as harvesting rolls on

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

Harvesting of winter barley moved from Cork and Tipperary into parts of Wexford and Kilkenny over the weekend, with tillage growers reporting yields of up to 4t/ac.

Crops were described as excellent in quality, with bushel weights of up to 68kph for some six-row varieties and up to 72kph for two-row varieties.

Mallow-based grower George Love started cutting his six-row winter barley variety Armenia on Friday afternoon and recorded 3.7-3.8t/ac. This was at least 0.2t/ac better than the 2012 yield.

"Some of the crops look capable of doing 4t/ac," Mr Love said. "I expect it to bushel 67-68kph, which is very good for a six-row," he added.

In Tipperary, yields range from 3t/ac to 4t/ac, with two-rows busheling at 70-72kph and six rows doing 63-64kph.

Growers close to Cahir and Clonmel have recorded 3.5t/ac for the two-row Cassia and bushel weights of 68-72kph, while the six-rows have busheled at 62-67kph so far.

IFA tillage chairman Noel Delany said his crop yielded 3.5t/ac and busheled out at 66kph and 14pc moisture.

North Kilkenny grower Tim Sherman described his six-row Leibniz crop as yielding well at 3.5t/ac and 68kph. The moisture content was 14pc, the lowest in 30 years.

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He said he was very happy with what he called an "excellent crop" of winter barley, although his spring barley was starting to burn up due to the heat and drought.

In Wexford, the earliest crops of two-row Cassia weighed in at close to 4t/ac in the Slaney valley area.

Teagasc tillage specialist Tim O'Donovan said growers had got the best possible start to the season, with excellent quality crops and some individual farmers achieving yields of over 4t/ac and cutting at 18pc moisture or below.

He added that the quality could be an opportunity for livestock farmers to supplement their declining second silage cuts with good value and good quality barley straw and grain.

Meanwhile, grain prices remain low, with Dairygold offering €137/t and Glanbia offering €140/t for green barley. Prices of €100/ac on the flat and €13-14 per 4x4 round bale have been mentioned for straw.

Looking ahead, spring barley is 10-20 days away from harvesting in most places, although patches are starting to burn up on drought-affected soils. This could take a toll on expected yields.

In Wexford, grower Winston Ashmore predicted his spring barley would be around 18 days away but he added that "things change every day in this weather."

Irish Independent