Spring barley the only crop in NI with production increase
The total production of spring barley in Northern Ireland was up 17% in 2018, but all other crops were down on last year’s levels.

Yields of spring barley in the 2018 harvest in NI were up by 10% from last year’s levels to 5.17t/ha, according to figures released by DAERA on Thursday.

The 2018 spring barley crop is close to the five-year average yield and reflects the more favourable harvest conditions compared with autumn 2017.

The poor autumn last year meant less winter crops were planted and spring barley acreage in NI was subsequently up by 6% to 14,900ha.

This, plus improved yields, meant that total spring barley production in NI was up 17% in 2018 to 77,000t.

Production drop

Yields of wheat and oats were back by 9% and 10% to 6.97t/ha and 5.05t/ha respectively in NI this year, with dry weather during the summer blamed for the reduced crop.

With acreage of both crops down in NI this year, total production of wheat and oats is down by 29% and 20% to 47,700t and 10,200t respectively.

Winter barley

Winter barley yields were up 2% on last year’s levels to 6.93t/ha, but with the area planted down by 18%, total production decreased by 17% in 2018 to 40,300t.

DAERA figures indicate that yields of potatoes (ware and seed combined) were down 16% year on year to 32.61t/ha.

Total potato production in NI this year was 25% lower than 2017 levels at 116,100t.

Read more

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Balmoral Show: Saturday timetable and weather outlook
Here's a summary of events and weather forecast for the final day of the 2019 Balmoral Show.

Highs of 15°C and light cloud are expected for the final day of the 2019 Balmoral Show at Balmoral Park near Lisburn.

The Met office is forecasting a partly cloudy day with some light showers expected in the late morning.

Here’s a summary of the times and locations of the main livestock and shearing events taking place on the fourth day of the Balmoral Show:

For anyone visiting the show, please call to the Irish Farmers Journal stand located at B2, beside the main cattle lawn, to have a chat with our NI team over a cup of tea or coffee.

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Balmoral Show: Friday timetable and weather outlook
Here's a summary of events and weather forecast for the third day of the 2019 Balmoral Show.

Highs of 18°C and dry conditions are expected for the third day of the 2019 Balmoral Show at Balmoral Park near Lisburn.

The Met office is forecasting a partly cloudy day with the chances of precipitation being less than 15%.

Here’s a summary of the times and locations of the main livestock and shearing events taking place on the second day of the Balmoral Show:

For anyone visiting the show, please call to the Irish Farmers Journal stand located at B2, beside the main cattle lawn, to have a chat with our NI team over a cup of tea or coffee.

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Moree herd dispersal sells to top of 5,000gns
Dairy cows sold to a top price of 5,000gns for a first-calved heifer at the dispersal sale of Moree Holsteins.

Moree herd sells to top of 5,000gns

The Moree pedigree Holstein herd held a dispersal sale of 180 milking cows last week, with the sale conducted by Taaffe auctions. Cows sold to a sale average of just over 1,700gns, with a reasonably firm trade for first-calved heifers and cows in their second lactation.

Prices peaked at 5,000gns for Moree Rubicon Marqi, a September 2015-born animal sired by EDG Rubicon. The animal has been successfully flushed for embryos, with genetics now being exported to New Zealand. As a heifer she yielded 9,540l and was sold to a breeder in the Republic of Ireland.

The second highest price was 4,500gns paid for Moree Fever Twine, a Crackholm Fever daughter in her third lactation and currently yielding 70kg of milk daily. Other noted prices saw 3,050gns paid for Moree Glenton Nora, currently yielding 73.5l in her second lactation.

Cows were mainly sold to local herds, with 23 animals exported to the Republic of Ireland, Wales and England. See page 64 for further details on the sale.

Meanwhile, a dispersal of mostly Fleckvieh cows at Ballymena Mart last week, on behalf of the Gibson family saw cows in-milk selling to a top price of £2,500. This was followed by £2,400 and £2,300 paid on two occasions, with 17 animals selling above the £2,000 mark.

Simmental sale

The NI Simmental club held its May sale of breeding animals at Ballymena Mart last week, with eight bulls selling to an average of 2,145gns.

Bulls topped at 2,900gns paid to David Hazelton’s Ranfurly herd. Pedigree cows with calves at foot sold to 2,500gns on two occasions, with maiden heifers making 1,650gns. Commercial heifers sold from £920 to £1,420.