Harvest 2018: Cereal harvest estimated as smallest since 1995
- The area of cereals reduced by 4.9pc in 2018
- Spring barley yield lowest since 2002
- The area of winter wheat decreased by 11pc in 2018
- Potatoes decreased again in 2018 by 1000ha
The overall production of cereals for 2018 is estimated to be approx. 1.8 million tonnes, down from 2.3 million tonnes in 2017, according to latest figures from Teagasc.
This 500,000 tonne reduction from 2017 is significantly below the 5 year rolling average of 2.3 million tonnes. It is the smallest recorded harvest since 1995.
The figures in Teagasc's latest crops report also shows that the the total cereal area continues to fall.
The area of cereals reduced by 4.9pc in 2018 to 258,000 hectares from 271,700 hectares in 2017. In 2013 the total cereal area planted was 307,800 hectares.
Yields of all cereals were below average as late planting of spring crops and a summer drought had a significant impact on crop yield. The greatest impact of the drought was on yields in the south and east while the north and west were least affected.
The area of spring barley planted increased by 11pc in 2018 to 126,169 ha, compared to 2017. This was mainly due to a lack of cropping options available to growers when planting began in April.
Nationally, spring barley recorded average yields of 5.6 t/ha (2.5 –e 9.0 t/ha). This is below the 5 year average of 7.2 t/ha and the lowest average yield since 2002. The area of winter barley decreased by 12pc in 2018 to 57,175ha.
The area of winter wheat decreased by 11pc in 2018 to 53,902ha. This was as a direct result of the poor planting conditions in autumn 2017.