It’s hard to believe that it’s the beginning of May and farmers in parts of the country have not started to sow spring crops, while others have completed all spring sowing.

AgriLand spoke to farmers, advisors and merchants around the country and, while it is very difficult to put exact figures on what has been sown, there is one thing is for sure – there is a lot to be done.

Spring barley is really the only cropping option for many farmers to grow from now on, unless they have a use or market for forage crops – like maize and beet. If this is an option, they may change cropping decision as a result of the late year. Some may also try and get oilseed rape crops in.

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South Wexford is an area that is usually well ahead of the game. Spring barley sowing would normally be completed in mid-March in this area and planting at the start of April would be considered late.

However, it looks to be one of the worst effected areas in the country. Some farmers in this region have no spring crops sown and the last day suitable for sowing was April 21.

While there are a few farmers who have completed sowing, it is estimated that only 25% of the area for spring crops has been sown in south Wexford so far. The situation in the north of the county is similar.


In Cork, many farmers have as little as 10% of their spring barley crops sown, while it is estimated that 20-25% of spring barley has been sown in the whole of Co. Cork. The situation looks to be similar into Co. Waterford.

Moving up the country and in north-Cork and Co. Tipperary, 60-70% of the spring barley crop is estimated to be planted.


The midlands figure looks to be at 80-85%. In counties Meath and Kildare, it is estimated that 10-15% of ground is still to be sown.


In the north-east planting looks to be almost finished, particularly in north Louth, with many crops receiving their nitrogen and tramlines beginning appearing. Further down the county into Ardee, there is some tidying up to be done and farmers are well on their way to being completed.

Even the maize planting season is drawing to a close. The majority of maize sowing in Co. Louth looks to have finished up on Monday of this week.


In Co. Donegal, the majority of spring crops have also been sown. However, it is estimated that about 15% of ground is yet to be planted.