Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Monday 19 February 2018

Weather woes set to continue

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

Met Eireann has little in the way of good news for farmers struggling to cope with the wet weather.

While some parts of the country can expect brighter weather and even some sun in the coming days, heavy rain is set to return to the west and south during Thursday.

A spokeswoman for Met Eireann said it was difficult to forecast weather beyond five or six days. However, she did point to the possibility of a ridge of high pressure developing after Thursday's rain.

Farmers are struggling to cope with the unseasonal conditions, with cattle housed, silage underwater in some cases and even tillage yields threatened by the weather.

There is a serious question mark over the quality of fodder that will be available next winter, while livestock farmers are also losing out on the benefits of after-grass for calves.

Disease pressure and poor grain fill in cereals has the potential to cut up to 1t/ac off the yield potential this year.

Beef prices have fallen considerably this week after a large number of light and under-finished animals were included in last week's kill.

However, the ICSA has warned farmers not to panic.

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"Bargain hard and consider all your options before bringing underfinished cattle to the factory," urged ICSA beef chairman Edmond Phelan.

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