Tillage farmers were glad to be out at the Teagasc Crops Open Day last week. The mood among the crowd was generally optimistic.

We caught up with some of the farmers in attendance and found out how crops are looking, when they expect harvest to kick off and where they think grain price will land.

We also spoke to a few farmers on their way home from the event to see what their highlights of the day were.

Nicky Keane

Rosslare, Co Wexford

Nicky Keane, South Wexford.

“Crops are looking well, winter wheat all looking well. The later-sown spring barley didn’t like the wet May but anything sown before the first of April is relatively good-looking.

“I think the harvest will kick off around 15 or 20 July. It’ll be a bit later than last year. We haven’t had the heat that we’ve had over the last couple of years. We would have always started around 10 July, but think it will be about 10 days later this year.

“I think grain prices will be above average. They were looking very good for a while. They’re after falling back a little bit now, but I think by the time we come to get paid there will be demand for Irish grain.”

Liam O’Byrne

Rosslare, Co Wexford

Liam O’Byrne, South Wexford.

“Crops are looking reasonably good; the winter wheat especially. The winter barley is looking reasonably good as well, but spring corn took a hit this year with the cold and the wet.

“I think the winter barley will probably come in about three weeks’ time and the winter wheat will be the middle of August.

“I’ve oilseed rape myself. I’ve a share of that and thank God the price is good. We’re looking probably at €500/t. Hopefully it will stay at that. I’d like to see the barley at €190/t and wheat at €200/t, but that’s all to play for.”

Gerard Rochford

Cleariestown, Co Wexford

Gerard Rochford, South Wexford.

“[The open day] was very interesting. All the trial work in particular was very informative for cereal growers. The winter wheat varieties and how they performed disease wise was very informative, as well as the new varieties coming on stream from the Department.

“I also found the treated and untreated plots very informative and how the varieties reacted without fungicides. There was some very interesting aspects there.”

Sylvester Bourke

Arklow, Co Wicklow

Sylvester Bourke, Wicklow.

“I found it really interesting to learn of the resistance to herbicides in grass weeds. While I haven’t noticed resistance just yet, it was interesting to see how the trials here are coping with this challenge.

“I also thought the variety trials and how each is performing was really important. I have one variety called Bennington this year which was really bad with yellow rust and it got mentioned a lot today.

“I thought the rye plot was very interesting as a possible introduction into my cropping system. I might consider putting in some rye instead of second winter wheat to spread the workload and spread the window where BYDV can be a problem”.

Seán Foley

Bunclody, Co Wexford

Sean Foley, Wexford.

“My highlight of the day, maybe it’s not a very nice thing to be realising, was the stand with Jimmy Staples with the blackgrass and brome and how quickly it can multiply.

“You start with one plant and before you know it, it’s and epidemic.

“We see what’s going on over in the UK but it’s a bit unknown over here about how quickly it can become an issue.”

Watch all of the interviews back here.