Rain wreaks havoc on Ulster crops

28 June 2002

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. &#42


&#8226 Spring barley hard hit.

&#8226 15% of potatoes lost.

&#8226 First-cut silage wrecked.

&#8226 Call for area flexibility.

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