There have been a lot more localised bursts of rain this year, according to tillage farmer Noel Delany from Fethard, Co Tipperary.

Delaney has been measuring rainfall on his farm for the last 40 years and sends weather data to Met Éireann every day by text message.

"I've been doing it since 1984. The one thing I've noticed, as well as the consistency of rainfall, is the localised bursts of rain this year.

"Last Monday, there was 35mm of rain in Borris, Co Carlow - we got 15m here; that's 20mm of a difference.

"Down in Dungarvan, there was 45mm the same day - that's three times what we got. The southeast seems to have got the worst of it," he said.

Consistent rain

Speaking to Delaney on Tuesday evening, he said that 13 out of the 16 days in April had been wet in Fethard.

"We've had wet springs before, but it has just been consistently wet all winter and we never got any chance. We only got less than half our winter crops sown.

"Guys that did set crops in poor conditions, they'd be better off they stayed in bed all day because the headlands are missing and half the field is missing.

"However, for spring sowing, it's often been late April until we got crops in before and they've been alright so I'm not completely pessimistic," he said.

Meath data

Max Potterton in Co Meath, who also records weather data on his farm, told the Irish Farmers Journal that there's been rain falling for the last 24 or 25 days.

"We've no spring planting done yet. There was land ploughed in January, but there has been no cultivation done since then - the weather just hasn't enabled it.

"We'll be hoping to have made a start by the last week of April really - we wouldn't have ever gone later than that before.

"The die is cast in terms of a productive of a profitable year. There is also huge concern at a wider level, financially, for growers on rented land. They may be locked into a commitment, so they can't just leave it fallow," he said.