Harvest update: Improved weather means combines can finally get out into the fields

The good weather seen over the weekend has seen farmers rushing out into fields to begin the harvest – albeit two weeks later than originally planned.

Recent heavy rain brought by both Storm Francis and Storm Ellen has played havoc with the scheduled cut for crops.

This, in turn, has meant farmers have been left to wait for the first window of good weather for an opportunity to start harvesting.

Mark Browne, the chairperson of the Irish Farmers’ Association’s (IFA’s) Grain Committee, said that crops have been damaged to an extent by the recent storms and bad weather, but said that the recent good weather over the weekend has saved a lot of the harvest from further damage.

He explained:

There might be a drop of rain during the week but there is high pressure building so I’m hopeful that we will be able to get crops saved.

Discussing the straw market at the current time, Browne said that he believes there is very little, to no, straw being baled at the moment.

“There is no one talking about straw because tillage farmers are under pressure and are solely focused on getting grain off the field.

“It’s not great weather for baling straw, so it’s just not happening at the moment.”

‘Glad to be back in the fields’

Bobby Miller, who is the chairperson of the Irish Grain Growers’ Group (IGGG), told AgriLand that farmers are “glad to be back out in the fields” after the disruption caused by the recent bad weather.

It’s a poor harvest for a lot of farmers and there is a lot of heads on the ground with wet spots and wet straw making it a big struggle.

“It will take a couple of days before we can quantify what we are dealing with and we would be hoping to get a half decent week of weather to continue the harvest,” Miller concluded.