Crop yields remain strong despite broken weather

A farmer harvests wheat during sunset. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol
A farmer harvests wheat during sunset. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol
Winter oilseed rape
Declan O'Brien

Declan O'Brien

Broken weather conditions have delayed progress in the harvest over the bank holiday weekend, but cutting is continuing between showers, and yields generally remain strong.

The first of the oilseed rape crops has been harvested, with yields ranging from 1.6/t to 1.8t/ac. Moisture levels are low at seven to nine per cent in the pod before combining.

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Good demand is also reported for oilseed rape straw, with up to €100/t being paid in the fields. However, some of the crop is said to be very green.

The harvest has moved on to the winter oats. Crops in the midlands are yielding 3.25-3.5t/ac, at 17-18pc moisture and 53-54kph.

Good crops of winter oats are also being harvested further south, with yields coming in around the 3.5t/ac mark. Moistures are at 17-18pc and 55-57kph.

Growers say straw crops from winter oats are excellent.

The vast majority of the winter barley has been cut at this stage, with the last pockets of the crop being mopped up this week.

Michael Hennessy of Teagasc said the crop gave mixed yields across the country.

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Although yields averaged around 3.8t/ac, they ranged from 2.5t/ac to 4.5t/ac. The lowest yields came from crops that had been badly hit by BYDV.

Growers maintain that winter wheat crops are looking very even and yields should not be as variable as those of winter barley.

Meanwhile, straw prices have eased back by €5-€6/bale for 4x4 bales as slower demand from beef farmers has hit the trade.

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