Teagasc to undertake nationwide study on harvest 2016 losses

Teagasc is to undertake a nationwide study to establish the extent of the tillage crisis on many farms following a period of inclement weather.

A spokesperson for the state body confirmed that the survey will be carried out through Teagasc’s advisory network, which is based throughout the country.

The study will aim to establish how many hectares of spring barley, spring oats and spring wheat are yet to be harvested and the number of growers affected.

This year’s harvest has been complicated by rain on many farms and some farmers are facing the prospect of losing an estimated €350/ac as crops are completely wrote off in parts of the country.

Farmers have struggled to harvest crops in the West and this was to the fore in a European Commission debate yesterday, where calls were made for the introduction of an exceptional aid package for tillage farmers.

Once the data of the data from the Teagasc survey has been gathered, it will paint a clearer picture of the extent of the losses facing tillage farmers this year and it may be used on an official level to highlight the extent of the crisis on Irish farms.

A spokesperson for the state body also confirmed that a livestock survey will be carried out in the counties of Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim and Mayo.

Livestock farmers in these counties have been hardest hit following the inclement weather in recent weeks and the survey aims to establish the number of dairy cows and cattle currently housed in these areas.

The quantity and quality of winter feed available on farm coupled with the slurry storage capacity available will also be examined.