Provisional estimates from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that the area under cereals in this country has dropped by 6.4%.

In June of this year (2019), the total area under cereals equated to 245,000ha. This is significantly lower than 2018 when the area under cereals stood at 261,600ha.

According to the CSO, the area under spring barley declined by 35,500ha or 27.9%. It is also important to note that in 2018 the area under spring barley increased by 10% following a wet winter and unsuitable conditions for winter planting.

Looking at the three cereals crops, oats was the only cereal crop to rise in area. The good planting conditions saw farmers take the opportunity to plant winter oats.

The total area under barley fell by 18,700ha or 10.1%, while the total area under wheat fell by 2,300ha or 4%. The area under winter oats rose by 5,100ha since 2018 – an increase of 49.7%.

Winter planting

Farmers are now planning for the season ahead. Earlier this week the winter cereal recommended lists were published by the Department of Agriculture and featured a number of new varieties of winter wheat, barley and oats.

Also Read: Winter cereal recommended lists out

Farmers this season should be mindful of the planting date. The banning of neonicotinoids and the loss of Redigo Deter seed dressing as a result puts early-sown crops at a high risk of barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV).