Rains put pressure on 2017 harvest

Brendan Geraghty: 15 wet days out of 22 in August.
Brendan Geraghty: 15 wet days out of 22 in August.

CONCERN is growing among grain growers in the West over this year’s harvest with combines grinding to a halt over the past week due to the weather and adverse ground conditions.

While nearly all of the winter crops have been harvested, most of the 10,000 acres of spring barley in Galway is waiting to be cut but ground conditions have deteriorated significantly over the past week.

Galway IFA Grain Chairman, John Daly, said these were worrying times for grain growers especially after last year’s disastrous harvest.

“We’re okay yet, but we badly need a fine week to allow the ground to dry out. At present the fields are completely untrafficable and a good week is needed,” said John Daly.

He said that all harvesting had stopped since early last week with the rains and the worsening just coming at the wrong time in the peak of the harvesting season – late August and early September.

“It is very worrying how wet the fields are at present. You just couldn’t contemplate bringing heavy machinery into land – we’re all hoping for at least one fine week,” said John Daly.

Abbeyknockmoy weather recorder, Brendan Geraghty, said that out of the first 22 days in August, there had been 15 wet ones.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.