Harvest 2020 has kicked off with some farmers starting the season almost a week ahead of schedule. Bobby Miller of Irish Grain Growers said that tillage farmers expected a mixed bag in terms of yield due to recent weather conditions.
“We won’t really know until we cut it,” he told the Irish Farmers Journal.
“A big concern in spring barley is the secondary growth that’s coming through - it’s very noticeable this week.”
Miller said the harvest had gotten under way in north Wexford but the majority of farmers were still waiting until next week to get started.
Some farmers have been concerned over a potential straw shortage and Miller confirmed that they expected supplies of wheat and barley straw to be lower this year.
“Only about half the normal area of winter barley and wheat was sown due to the weather,” he said.
“We don’t know where the straw harvest will be just yet but it will be well back on last year.”
He said he had heard of up to €40 being paid for an 8x4x3 bale and €20 for a round bale.
On another note, Miller said that Irish Grain Growers fully backed MEP Mairead McGuinness and concerns she'd raised over sub-standard EU imports and imported soya to Ireland.
On the opposite side of the country in the northwest, the harvest was also getting under way.
Tillage correspondent Stephen Robb said that combines were moving in Donegal.
“Harvest of early sown Orwell winter barley started [on Friday]. Very early ground. 21%mc, crop looking good,” Robb said.