Peter Lynch, Donegal

“I’m farming winter wheat, winter barley, oilseed rape and other tillage crops in Newtown Cunningham, Donegal.

“I have winter wheat ready to cut, it’s been sprayed off for 10 days. It’s under pressure; wheat heads are starting to go down. Oilseed rape and winter wheat yields are back, but the quality is fairly good. I harvested malting barley with protein contents between 10.5%-12.5%, which speaks for itself.

“We need drying days before harvesting can even begin. We got out to bale straw, it was definitely a snatch and grab job. The harvest isn’t even enjoyable anymore, you can’t relax. You have to take any dry time and get moving.”

Kieran McEvoy, IFA grain chair, Laois

“I’m farming winter wheat, barley, oilseed rape and oats outside Emo, Laois.

“Generally speaking, there’s been a delay in harvesting winter crops, I’m finishing oilseed rape myself and plan to get a start on wheat. We’re ready to go, if only the weather could dry up. Straw is on the ground, in some areas for nearly five weeks; the big question is, will it be got off the ground at all?

“It’s been a drag of a harvest. Yields are back on winter barley and oilseed rape. If farmers could get a week to 10 days, they could get the majority of harvesting of winter crops wrapped up. Farmers have invested in machinery and have the capacity to do the work, we’re just not getting the time for crops to dry before the next shower hits. Ground conditions are so bad that machinery might struggle to get into heavier land.”

Bobby Miller, Irish Grain Growers chair, Laois

“I’m farming tillage in Stradbally, Co Laois. I’m up to date with my harvesting, and I cut winter barley and oilseed rape recently. I’ve straw on the ground for three or four weeks, we’re just waiting for an opportunity to bale. It’s a lot easier to harvest crops than it is to get out baling. Crops are being harvested behind peak times, which will lead to reductions in yields and quality. We saw a 0.5t/ac reduction for winter barley and oilseed rape; oilseed rape has fared poorly this year. Spring barley will be ready for harvesting in a week or two, it’s getting near ripening. Compared to 2022, we’re expecting a large drop in yields for spring varieties. I have oilseed rape to be planted after winter barley, but there is still straw on the ground in those fields. The mood is low with tillage farmers and grain prices are even lower.”

Peadar Whyte, Dublin

“We’re farming tillage crops and potatoes in Naul, Co Dublin. It’s been a stop-start kind of harvest. We’ve finished cutting rape and the oats and barley are harvested too. We have about 20% of our straw baled, the rest is still on the ground, and it’s in bad condition. We covered good ground during the breaks, but rain is forecast again and that will put a halt to our progress.

“Yields are definitely down – we’re seeing a reduction to 1.6-1.9t/ac for rape crops, and oats will be back about half a tonne too. On the potato side of things, there’s been lots of blight in the area as it’s warm and wet. Harvesting will be later than usual, with the wet spring and late planting. This week’s rain has been a tipping point, there’s lots of marking of fields; tracks are looking deeper.”

Mervyn Cooke, Galway

“I’m farming tillage in Ballinasloe, Co Galway. This year, [I’ve sown] spring varieties only, as the weather was so poor last year, I decided against sowing winter varieties. I’ve noticed some spring barley around the area is tossed. It’s not too bad yet, but it’s still early days for spring crops.

“Spring barley was sown late, going into May. We will see reductions in yields this year and that will be the same all over the country. Wet weather brings a lot of problems. Last year we ticked all the boxes; this year we won’t even reach for the pen. We won’t know what spring barley looks like quality-wise until it’s in the shed. I know farmers who cut winter barley got a reasonable amount of straw in, which doesn’t seem to be the case in other parts of the country.”