How is your harvest progressing?

As the harvest hits its peak, AgriLand wants to know how farmers are getting on in the fields.

Harvest was in full swing last week with just a few showers scattering the country, while rain at the weekend put a stop to many combines. In the south and east of the country, much of the cereal harvest is complete, while some spring barley and winter wheat crops are still to ripen.

Following this, spring oats, spring wheat, spring oilseed rape and some shaky crops of beans will go under the knife.

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Spring barley is the most popular crop in this country at about 118,000ha. Yields are extremely variable this season. While some farmers in Munster are almost reaching 3t/ac, other farmers in the south-east will be lucky to reach 1t/ac.

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Moisture and protein contents

Moisture content will help to account for some of the poorer yields this season. In general, moisture contents have been low and are making for easy drying and storage.

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Protein contents are all over the place. Low and high-yielding crops appear to have the lowest readings, while the crops in the middle of the yield range seem to be hovering around 12%.

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Fodder shortage

Wholecrop silage was in demand this year. Winter barley, winter wheat and spring barley crops were among the most popular choices for this job and high prices were paid for crops – €750-1,000/ac in some cases.

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As livestock farmers struggle to meet winter feed requirements, many tillage farmers are opting to grow forage crops this winter. Recently, the government announced an incentive for tillage farmers to grow these crops in order to alleviate the feed deficit somewhat.

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