Heavy downpours put a stop to combines at the weekend and on Monday. Many growers stayed cutting late on Saturday night before heavy, thundery showers fell on Sunday.

Many winter barley crops are now at the point where they need to be cut and are breaking down in some places. Heavy rain is also knocking heads and causing grain losses.

Yields are averaging at about 3.7t/ac at present in the south.

Some crops are hitting 4.2t/ac and even higher in some cases, however, these are being called exceptional yields. The run of yields is under 4t/ac.

Yields are reported to be lower as you move further up the country, but much of the harvest is yet to start from the midlands up.

Farmers seem to be pleasantly surprised with those yields as many winter barley crops did not look good during the year and are yielding better than expected.

KPH or bushel levels are ranging from 62 to 67 in most places with an odd variety hitting 68. At the weekend, moistures went low in some places at around 16%.

However, recent rain and a forecast for further showers is now making harvesting difficult.

That rain is also affecting baling and straw remains on the ground in many places.

Heavy rain last Thursday and over the weekend also impacted spring crops as it knocked a lot of crops in the south of the country. Spring barley was particularly badly affected.

Grain prices remain low relative to costs of production at €190/t for green barley and €200/t for green wheat at Tirlán.