Slow progress in Donegal

Harvest is making slow progress in Donegal, Ireland, with green straw and damp conditions causing frustration.

Contractor Stevie Robb started combining winter barley last week (w/e 29 July) at Drumboy Farm, Newton Cunningham.

“It’s not going too well; the grain is ripe but the straw is very green, which makes for slow combining, and means it has to lie in the field for days before we can get it baled up. There’s a real backlog of straw building up.”

So far farmers had cut about 20% of the winter barley, he said. “Normally we would be further on than that.”

Yields were about average, but spring barley and winter wheat were suffering from poor grain fill.

“We didn’t have a drought in the spring; and the summer has been very poor in terms of sunshine – the crops just aren’t getting enough sun.

“The grain is not filling out, and I think yields are going to be down this year.”

Mr Robb expected to spray off his wheat and spring barley in about five days time, putting harvest about 15 days away.

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