Harvest season is well and truly underway in Munster as cereal growers began cutting Joyau six-row winter barley this week, which yielded almost 4t per acre this year, at 22% moisture.

Farm staff Kieran White, Seskin and Shane Curry from Rathgormack who work for cereal grower Patrick O’Donnell who is based in Kilsheelan, Co. Tipperary began harvesting the crop yesterday (July 5).

They begin the season following an excellent year for crops, weather and disease wise according to Teagasc, who said that despite the rising cost of inputs, the past 12 months have constituted an almost perfect year.

Crops were able to establish themselves strongly last Autumn due to the good weather, which was followed by excellent planting and growing seasons.

Speaking about this year’s barley crops on a recent episode of the Tillage Edge podcast, Teagasc’s tillage specialist Ciaran Collins said that from a disease perspective, barley remained largely clean this year, thanks to well timed spray programmes.

However, he said that “the combine will tell the final story”. He stated.

“There are some excellent crops of barley out there. But equally there are some that took a hit form Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus. It remains to be seen, some of the consequences of that.

“All crops were impacted by some ramularia over recent weeks. But I don’t think the disease will have a major impact on final crop outcomes.”

Speaking about winter barley specifically, Collins said the prospects for it this year are in the average to above average category

“Of all the crops this year, the ones that might be described as having a mixed profile would be those of winter barley.”

“Secondly, the head count might be a little bit slacker than you would like in other barley crops. So it is a little bit of a mixed bag with winter barley really,” he finished.