The cereal harvest for 2019 has been estimated at approximately 2.1m tonnes of cereals by Teagasc.

This is slightly below the five-year average of 2.3m tonnes but the cereal area has stabilised in 2019 following recent declines.

The crops report produced at Teagasc Oak Park in Carlow said the yield and quality for all cereals has been good so far. It noted that harvest progress had been disrupted by recent rain with the majority of spring barley and winter wheat remaining to be harvested.

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Looking at specific crops, the report noted malting barley yields to date were above average but low proteins were causing difficulties for farmers who were fulfilling malting contract obligations.

Potatoes

In many potato crops, blight had also been observed. Growers were advised of the need to keep intervals tight and continue with blight programmes through desiccation of the crops. Early reports indicate that early-sown crops are doing well with good tuber numbers but that those planted later have a lower than average count.

On grass weeds, Teagasc said: “Grass weeds were very visible in crops this season partially due to the increase in the winter cereal area. Post-harvest stale seed beds are an effective element in any control plan for autumn-germinating weeds such as bromes and blackgrass.”

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