Coolmore Stud farm manager Joe Holohan has said it has been the perfect year for winter barley, with yields of 4t/ac on average.
“The weather has been marvellous and we’re getting top-quality straw, which for us as a stud farm is as important as the grain,” Holohan told the Irish Farmers Journal.
“Winter barley is our main crop. Our spring barley is less than two weeks away from harvesting. We also grow beans, winter wheat and oats, so our harvest will continue until September.
“We hope to begin harvesting our oats next week. Two years ago, we installed our own oats plant on the farm so we could aim for the highest quality.
"If our own oats aren’t up to grade, we always buy in the best that’s out there.”
Coolemore’s agronomist and tillage manager Tony Nugent hopes to complete the winter barley harvest by Tuesday 27 July, before the weather is expected to break.
“We have been cutting since Thursday 15 July from 9.30am to 10pm every day. We are three quarters the way through the winter barley and conditions have been excellent, with moisture between 14% and 15%,” Nugent told the Irish Farmers Journal.
“We have five combines running at the same time. We’ve made the most of this heatwave. With the way Irish weather is, you have to take these opportunities when they come.”
Farm manager Holohan also oversees the annual hay harvest, with approximately 100,000 small squares saved every year.
“For the past two seasons with COVID-19 measures in place, we made large squares as well as small squares to help reduce the number of people on farm,” Holohan said.
“In previous years, we found it hard to dry the big squares, but last year, as a result of necessity, we perfected it with our drier system and quality overall is good."