Drought continues to cause concern for tillage farmers

Drought conditions continue to have a serious effect on tillage crops across the country. Winter barley crops are set to come in thick and fast over the course of the next two weeks – at least two, if not three, weeks earlier than usual.

While combines have been out in fields, some of these crops have been reported to AgriLand as ‘problem crops’ that may have suffered from take-all for example.

The past week has seen crops turn dramatically, including winter oats and some winter wheat crops. Winter crops have looked good throughout the summer. Straw is in high demand and some farmers are placing deposits in order to secure supply.

Spring barley

Spring barley crops vary countrywide, sowing date looks to have had a large effect on crop conditions. The south-east is worst affected, as later-sown crops received very little rain.

Towards the midlands, later-sown spring crops look to be holding up well and the benefits of thundery showers at the end of May and the beginning of June are evident in the fields.

Beet and maize

Beet and maize crops, which were sown early, are thriving in the conditions in many parts. However, crops which were sown later are patchy.

Maize at Ballyderowan, Co. Cork, where the DAFM/ISTA trials open day took place last week

Some beet crops struggled to establish in the dry conditions and large percentages of crops have not yet appeared. Weed control in beet crops remains an issue in the hot temperatures and in those poorly-established crops.

Irrigation in potato and vegetable crops remains standard and essential, as crops struggle in the warm and dry conditions.

Carrots being irrigated at O’Shea Farms in Co. Kilkenny