Difficult spring conditions sees huge fall in winter crops
Farmers across the country have been forced to adjust their cropping plans this year due to the poor weather in the autumn and the subsequent poor weather in the spring.
To add to these difficulties almost all spring crops are planted between one and two months later than normal.
“Even the longest serving tillage farmers admit to not experiencing such a late and difficult planting season in their lifetimes,” according to Ciaran Collins, Tillage Specialist with Teagasc.
“Teagasc are working hard with farmers and the industry developing agronomic strategies to maximise crop potential of these late sown crops,” Ciaran added.
Preliminary results from the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine in the past few days, indicate a 5pc decrease in the main tillage crops sown this year compared to 2017.
Crops with the largest decreases in area include; winter wheat (-11pc), winter barley (-13pc) and winter oats (-30pc). This reflects the poor weather from September right through to December last year.
The area of many spring crops has also decreased with spring wheat (-47pc), spring oats (-22pc), protein crops (-38pc) and potatoes (-14pc) the worst affected.
All of these crops ideally should be sown from February to late March to maximise profitability.