Ireland: Winter barley harvest kicks off in near perfect weather conditions
Irelands harvest has kicked off in near continental weather conditions, with winter barley yields generally running from 3.5t/ac to 4.25t/ac and moistures at 15-16pc, the Independent reported on July 20.
Growers report near perfect harvesting conditions and the expectation is that the bulk of the winter barley crop could be cleared up across the southern half of the country ahead of a forecast change in the weather this weekend.
A big variation in both yields and kph has been reported over the first few days of cutting. The best of the yields appear to be in the Kilkenny area, with one merchant reporting that winter barley crops were generally averaging around 4t/ac, with some coming close to 4.5t/ac. One grower in south Tipperary said crops were generally averaging 3.7t/ac, with yields in the north of the county ranging from 3.3t/ac to 3.8t/ac. In south Laois and Carlow, crops were reported to be yielding around 3.7t/ac.
Low kph over the weekend was blamed on crops not being 100pc ripe. The kph for many early crops was in the low 60s, but had climbed to the mid-60s by yesterday.
The current moisture levels of around 15-16pc will deliver up to 10/t of a bonus, given that base prices are set off of a 20pc reference.
However, Michael Hennessy of Teagasc predicted that average moistures could hit as low as 11-12pc this week, given that temperatures are forecast to reach 30C. The base price for barley is forecast to settle at around 175-180/t, but this could vary up or down by 10-15/t depending on global harvest progress and
Meanwhile, straw crops are also reported to be good. And with strong livestock farmer demand, many grain growers were reported to be keen on getting crops baled in case the weather deteriorated this weekend.
Up to 20/bale (for 4x4 bales) has been offered for straw already this harvest. However, there are suggestions that prices could ease back given the strength of the straw crop and the abundance of fodder in the country.
In other harvest news, Bobby Miller of the Irish Grain Growers (IGG) urged merchants and co-ops to reflect the value of locally-produced grain in the prices offered to farmers.
Mr Miller claimed that there was greater demand for Irish grain this harvest because of the increased cost of shipping feedstuffs.
E-malt.com, the global information source for the brewing and malting industry professionals. The bi-weekly E-malt.com Newsletters feature latest industry news, statistics in graphs and tables, world barley and malt prices, and other relevant information. Click here to get full access to E-malt.com. If you are a Castle Malting client, you can get free access to E-malt.com website and publications. Contact us for more information at email@example.com .