The change of month has brought a change of weather, as spring has finally sprung across the country. A dry first week in March has seen a flurry of activity in fields, particularly in the southern half of the country. Slurry and fertiliser has been spread, later than usual in many areas, and cows are back in fields.
Many waited until Monday to let cows out, having had four dry days together to allow sodden fields to soak. Water table and river levels are still very high however, and standing water in low-lying fields is still visible in most counties.
Work is also starting in tillage fields, with ploughing and field preparation ratcheting up. Many farmers plan to plant before rain hits, mainly wheat and beans.
Currently, forecasts show the dry spell is expected to extend into Sunday, although more broken weather is predicted for next week. Rainfall levels won’t match the heavy downpours experienced in most areas across February. Daytime temperatures will drop from Friday, but recover next week.
February not as wet as 2020
While February seemed to be a very wet month in many places, Met Éireann reports less rainfall than the same period in 2020. Claremorris, for instance, has had 270mm of rain this year to-date, 130mm of that in February. Last year, it saw 286mm in February alone and 440mm for the first two months.
This year’s figures are still ahead of the five year average of 226mm. This pattern was repeated in many parts of the country. The hope is that March, having come in like a lamb, continues to co-operate with farmers.