Winter cereal area up 27,800ha – Teagasc estimates
Teagasc estimates that the winter cereal area for this season (2018/2019) has increased by 27,800ha since 2017/2018 – that’s a substantial increase of 23%.
This hike is mainly due to the good weather conditions experienced during September and October, which allowed farmers plenty of time to get crops planted.
Farmers may also have been keen to sow winter crops this time round, after the poor performance of spring crops last season.Also Read: 2018 harvest: Lowest average spring barley yield since 2002
It’s important to remember that these 2018/2019 figures are estimates. Verified data will not be known until Basic Payment Applications have been made. Moreover, factors such as home-saved seed make it difficult to compile completely accurate figures at this point.
The winter barley area saw the biggest jump. Teagasc estimates that 75,000ha of winter barley have been sown this season, up from 57,200ha in 2017/2018. This is an increase of 31%.
The actual figure could, in fact, be higher than this. The figure has been estimated by members of the seed trade at 77,000ha.
The winter oats area was curtailed by a shortage of seed. It’s estimated to have increased by 1,900ha to 12,000ha. That’s up from 10,100ha in 2017/2018.
Winter oilseed rape and beans
The winter oilseed rape area is expected to be unchanged at 8,900ha. Teagasc estimates that an extra 40ha of winter beans have been sown. This would bring the 2018/2019 figure to 800ha.