No sign of field conditions improving

There are no signs of field conditions improving over the coming days, with soils at saturation and some fields waterlogged, according to Met Eireann.

This is not the news many farmers or agricultural contractors with slurry to spread will want to hear.

As well as this, opportunities for drying and spraying will be limited due to spells of rain.

Earlier this week in the Seanad, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed encouraged farmers to make the most of their slurry.

We’ve got to move to a situation where farmyard manure and slurry are not seen as a problem; but, that they are seen as a resource and that we explore how to get the maximum return from it – rather than seeing it as a problem that must be exposed of.

While acknowledging that weather conditions have been difficult to manage in recent weeks, the minister has also stood firm on the fact that there is “no flexibility” regarding the dates of the closed period for slurry spreading.

Forecast

Today, Friday, is set to be mostly dry and bright; good sunshine is expected this morning after a chilly start.

Cloud will gradually thicken from the west, with outbreaks of rain moving into western areas this afternoon in a freshening south-west breeze. Temperatures will range from 6º to 9º.

Tonight, rain will extend to eastern areas this evening. There will be a risk of persistent rain in all areas overnight and some heavy falls in parts of the west and south-west.

The rain will tend to ease off in most places towards dawn, Met Eireann added. Extensive low cloud and fog is forecast on higher ground.

Tomorrow

Tomorrow, Saturday, will be a mostly cloudy and mild day with scattered outbreaks of rain; but, dry periods are also likely to develop, alongside some brighter spells at times.

Conditions are expected to remain misty on higher ground, in southern parts especially. Afternoon temperatures are set to range from 9º to 13º in a fresh south-west to west breeze, decreasing moderately later.

Saturday night will be mild and cloudy with patchy rain and drizzle. Fresh west to south-west winds are forecast with no frost.

Outlook

It is set to be mild, mostly cloudy and rather windy on Sunday. There will be a danger of some persistent rain in northern areas at first; but, otherwise, just scattered outbreaks of rain with a few dry periods are expected.

Afternoon temperatures will vary from 10º and 13º in fresh and blustery south-west winds. Rain will spread southeastwards on Sunday night, with frost unlikely for much of the country.

Early indications suggest that rain will clear southwards on Monday morning and cooler conditions with sunshine and a few showers will follow – though the south may stay mild and damp.

It will be cold and mostly dry on Monday night, with frost in many areas, according to Met Eireann.

The extended outlook is for rather cold showery conditions over the following few days, with the possibility of some wintry showers.