A large amount of rain has fallen across the country in recent days and while we are unable to control the weather, the lack of river management has been the catalyst causing field flooding and widespread damage of crops in the process. This could have been easily avoided if the maintenance of rivers had been more effective and the correct river infrastructure had been put in place by local river agencies.
Irish apple growers say that the recent stormy weather is to have a serious impact on their crop yield this year. Two storms in as many weeks recently have seriously affected orchards across the country and growers now say that over 30% of this year's apple crop has been lost due to weather conditions.
Cover crops, catch crops, forage crops – it’s the time of year for them. On this week’s Teagasc Tillage Edge Podcast, Richie Hackett gave a run down of the differences, the advantages and the environmental benefits of these crops. A catch crop is used to catch nutrients and prevent them from being lost, such as nitrogen (N), and a green manure is something that’s used to provide a benefit to the next crop in terms of nutrition.
There may have been rain over the past few days, but vegetable growers will be counting the cost of recent drought conditions for a long time to come. Over the past three months vegetable growers have been irrigating crops at every hour of the day. When the job of irrigating is being carried out crops still need to be harvested, and without any irrigation costs over the past number of years packing and labeling has also become a bigger task and access to labour is making things difficult.
Rain is urgently needed to save this season's Northern Ireland potato crop. Stuart Meredith, an agronomist with Wilson's Country potato firm, said a particularly wet autumn, followed by one of the driest springs on record, had caused severe problems that had led to eight months of "absolute extremes for growers".
Minister Michael Creed is being called on to reintroduce support measures relating to crop loss during inclement weather, to assist growers affected by wet conditions at harvest. Mattie McGrath, an independent TD for Tipperary, said the minister should “urgently consider” reintroducing the Weather-Related Crop Loss Support Measure Scheme.
A lot of early crop Rooster growers will finish up harvesting this week. Rainfall is continuing to cause problems for harvesting particularly in Donegal. Some growers have resumed harvesting this week but conditions are quite poor. Digging of the main season crop is expected to commence in the next two weeks.
Some winter barley growers are facing yield losses of 1.5t/ac due to severe problems with barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV). The problems appear to be most prevalent in Leinster where growers report an increased disease pressure. However, all areas are experiencing greater challenges with BYDV infections this harvest.
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