Weekend weather: sunny spells and scattered showers in store
The last of the heavy rain is expected to clear north early on Friday night and scattered showers will follow.

Rain, possibly thundery, will be heaviest in the west and south during the first half of Friday and heaviest in the east during the second half of the day. Strong and gusty southeast winds will accompany the rain with gales or strong gales near exposed coasts.

The rain will be followed by heavy showers in the west and southwest later in the afternoon as winds veer to the southwest and moderate, according to Met Éireann.

Warnings

There are three weather warnings in place for Friday:

  • Status yellow - wind warning for Leinster, Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal

    Southeasterly winds will reach mean speeds of 50 to 65km/h with gusts of 90 to 110km/h. Gusts will exceed these values in exposed coastal areas and on higher ground, especially in the southeast. Valid from 8am to 7pm.

  • Status yellow - rainfall warning for Dublin, Carlow, Kildare, Kilkenny, Louth, Wexford, Wicklow, Galway, Mayo, Cork, Kerry, Tipperary and Waterford.

    Heavy rain will lead to accumulations of around 25 to 40mm but may exceed these limits in mountainous areas. Valid from 6am to 6pm.

  • Status yellow - wind warning for Munster and Connacht.

    Southeasterly winds will reach mean speeds of 50 to 65km/h with gusts of 90 to 110km/h. Gusts will exceed these values in exposed coastal areas and on higher ground, especially in the southwest. Valid from 4am to 3pm.

  • Saturday

    Saturday will see sunny spells and scattered showers, the showers frequent in the west and south with the odd thundery downpour possible. Highest temperatures of 8°C to 10°C in mostly moderate southwest winds.

    Scattered showers will continue on Saturday night, with lows of 2°C to 6°C and light breezes.

    Sunday

    Further sunny spells and scattered showers are likely on Sunday, the showers most frequent in the western half of the country, with the slight risk of hail and thunder.

    In the west, the showers may merge into longer spells of rain. Southerly winds will freshen a little during the afternoon. Maximum temperatures of 9°C to 12°C.

    Early next week, sunshine and showers are expected on Monday, with temperatures close to normal. A good deal of dry weather Tuesday but rain will spread from the west later Tuesday night. The rain may linger for a time next Wednesday and it will become quite mild.

    Management notes

    In beef, Adam Woods takes a look at getting nutrition right this winter, pneumonia issues and setting up your yard for reduced workload.

    In dairy, Aidan Brennan looks at how to manage in wet weather, what cows need to be dosed for and what to expect at Dairy Day.

    On the sheep side, Darren Carty looks at post-breeding nutrition, TAMS II and a sale of working dogs.

    In tillage, the drop in soil temperatures combined with recent rain could see many more challenges to good establishment in recently planted crops and any to be planted from now on.

    Arrabawn holds December milk price
    The processor is the most recent to announce that its milk price will be unchanged.

    Arrabawn has decided to hold its price for December milk at 30.6c/l excluding VAT.

    The price has remained unchanged for several months.

    Most co-ops opted to leave milk prices unchanged for December.

    Dairygold

    Dairygold announced that it will hold their December milk price at 30.36c/l excluding VAT.

    The price is inclusive of a 0.5c/l quality bonus based on standard constituents of 3.3% protein and 3.6% butterfat.

    The co-op has also held this price for several months.

    Lakeland Dairies, Glanbia and Kerry Group held their price at 30.4c/l (excluding VAT) for December milk supplies.

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    The farmer's daily wrap: low-cost loans and BDGP map
    Check out the latest headlines and get a look ahead at tomorrow's weather forecast.

    Weather forecast

    A status yellow nationwide snow and ice warning is in place from 7pm Monday 21 January until 9pm the following day.

    According to Met Éireann, hill and mountain areas are expected to be the worst affected.

    Frost and ice are predicted and temperatures will dip to -1°C, with fresh winds.

    In the news

  • Minister Creed has said some 2,511 farmers are yet to pass the approval process for their BDGP payment.
  • Vets have criticised the Department’s level of action in the run-up to Brexit.
  • Grant funding of up to €25,000 is available to farmers participating in GLAS to restore traditional farm buildings and structures.
  • Farmers will have to draw down a minimum of €50,000 to access the next low-cost loan scheme.
  • Social Farming is set to double the number of its farmer participants from 60 to 120, according to its annual report.
    Minimum €50,000 draw-down for low-cost loans
    Farmers will have to draw down a minimum of €50,000 to access the next low-cost loan scheme.

    The Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) has confirmed details of the Future Growth Loan Scheme, including that farmers will have to apply for a minimum of €50,000 to avail of the scheme.

    The long-awaited low-cost loan scheme will offer eligible businesses and farmers loans at an interest rate of 4.5% or less.

    The maximum draw down is €3m and the loans are for terms of between eight and 10 years.

    Banks have been invited to apply to distribute the new low-cost loan scheme, with Bank of Ireland, AIB and Ulster Bank all having previously expressed interest in taking part in the scheme.

    Loans in March

    Up to €300m is available under the scheme, which is being developed in conjunction with the SBCI, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Business.

    Minister for Business Heather Humphreys previously told the Irish Farmers Journal that she hopes to see the loan scheme fully operational by March this year.

    Financial institutions have until 11 February to submit their applications to become lending partners.

    Previous scheme

    Under the previous low-cost loan scheme, the interest rate was set at 2.95%, with loan terms available between 18 months and three years.

    A total fund of €150m was available, with roughly €145m drawn down by farmers. By October last year, some €47.5m had been repaid.

    Read more

    Listen: low-cost loans to land in March

    Where is the low-interest loan fund?