Rain wreaks havoc on Ulster crops
SPRING barley, Northern Irelands main cereal crop, is suffering badly after being hit by about 50% more rain than normal over the past month or so.
"My fields look as though they have already been yield-mapped, with light green, yellow and brown patches," says farmers weekly barometer farmer Robert Craig, who expects yields to be down at least 20-30%.
"It is simply down to waterlogging. We have had only seven dry days in seven weeks. I was looking for 3t/acre, but now I dont expect much more than 2t, and some other crops in the area will struggle to do 1t/acre."
"I believe many farms could be heading for disaster."
Ulster Farmers Union president, John Gilliland, agrees things look bad. "In May we had 181% of our 30-year average rainfall. Many spring barleys will be lucky if they do 1t/acre."
Main requirement is for the authorities to recognise the problem and be accommodating when assessing planted areas, he says. *
• Spring barley hard hit.
• 15% of potatoes lost.
• First-cut silage wrecked.
• Call for area flexibility.