Maize planted in 22 counties; heat will help stressed crops

The recent cold weather has been causing some stress for maize crops. Anyone travelling the roads will have noticed the pale yellow colour in the fields.

Maize is a tropical crop and likes the heat. As a result, colder weather at night has left crops stressed.

As a large proportion of the maize in the country is grown in Co. Cork, AgriLand used Moore Park weather station (Met Éireann) to show recent temperatures. The average soil temperature for the month of May at Moore Park was 12.5°, while the average air temperature for June so far is 11.3°.

On June 20, the grass temperature at Moore Park was as low as 4.6°, giving an idea of the tough growing conditions for maize.

The good news is that Met Éireann has forecast warm weather into next week, so growth should pick up.

Maize acreage holds

After last year’s jump in acreage the maize area looks to have held strong. It decreased by approximately 600ha following an increase of approximately 4,700ha (40%) in 2018.

Provisional results from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) show that 15,909ha of maize have been sown in 2019.

In 2018, 16,500ha of maize were planted. This massive increase came amid last season’s fodder deficit and there was uncertainty as to whether the increase would hold into this season.

Maize planted in 22 counties

This season maize was planted in 22 counties. 4,119ha were planted in Co. Cork. In counties Wexford and Meath, 1,735ha and 1,710ha were sown respectively.

The counties with the lowest area of maize were in the north and west of Ireland – approximately 96ha in Co. Kerry; 17ha in Co. Cavan; and 3ha in Co. Clare.