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Thursday 16 August 2018

Bumper maize harvest forecast after perfect summer conditions

Harvesting maize for Ronan Farrell at Ballylinan, Co. Laois is Michael Quigley, Quigley Agri Contracting, Kildangan, Co. Kildare. Photo: Alf Harvey.
Harvesting maize for Ronan Farrell at Ballylinan, Co. Laois is Michael Quigley, Quigley Agri Contracting, Kildangan, Co. Kildare. Photo: Alf Harvey.
Claire Fox

Claire Fox

A bumper maize harvest is being forecast as contractors began cutting the first of the crop this week.

Maize crops in the south and east of the country have ripened early this autumn and yields are forecast to be exceptionally strong.

Dave Barry of Goldcrop said this summer's weather had been perfect for maize.

He pointed out that high temperatures in June and strong growth since July meant that crops were "bulky and well matured".

In addition, Mr Barry said that cobs in crops that he had walked were well developed and had filled.

He said the harvest outlook was very good, with fresh weight yields expected to come in at 22t/ac at around 30pc dry matter.

One of the earliest crops to be cut so far this year was Stephen Gumbleton's at Ladysbridge in east Cork.

The P8201 variety was planted by the dairy farmer on April 16 and gave a fresh yield of 22t/ac when harvested last week. Sean Collins, who manages the maize outfit for local contractor Gordon A Northridge, said crops in east Cork seemed to be very strong. Harvesting conditions were ideal, he added.

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Close to 11,000ha of maize were planted nationally this year and the harvest is expected to take up to the middle of October.

Mr Barry predicted that the total area sown will be well up in 2018 given the continued growth in cow numbers and the recent lift in milk prices.


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