Teagasc tillage specialist Tim O’Donovan has told AgriLand that winter crops are holding up pretty well, despite the past four weeks of incessant rain.

“To be honest I have not had the opportunity of walking that many fields over recent days,” he added.

“However, I have had no farmers on with me to complain about the impact of the weather. And, from what I can gather, it’s been a similar story with all of my Teagasc colleagues across the rest of the country.”

O’Donovan continued: “To be honest we have had lots of wet winters to contend with in the past and crops held up pretty well in those circumstances. It is also worth pointing out that this season’s crops were sown out in perfect conditions. We did not get the rain until the middle of December, so the ground, at that stage, had the capacity to hold a lot of moisture without flooding.

“In situations where parts of fields have been under water for a consecutive number of days, then a degree of plant kill can be expected.”

The tillage specialist went on to point out that the true state of winter crops will become apparent courtesy of the series of Teagasc Crop Walks, to be held next week.

He continued: “There is an open invitation for all tillage farmers to get along to the event which is most convenient to them,” O’Donovan further explained.

“There will be a discussion on winter crop agronomy with Teagasc crop advisors, researchers and other specialists in attendance.”

Topics covered at the upcoming crop walks will include: advice on fertiliser for winter cereals and Oilseed Rape (OSR); an update on winter barley fungicide strategies; an update on ‘Septoria’ developments and managing OSR Crops. The dates and venues are:

Monday 10 February –  Teagasc, Oak Park,Carlow 2pm
Tuesday 11 February –  Whites Brs., The Naul, Co Dublin 11am
Tuesday 11 February –  DAFM, Moorepark, Fermoy, Co Cork 11am
Wednesday 12 February –  Kildalton College, Pilltown Co Kilkenny 11am
Wednesday 26 February –  John Fortune, Crossabeg, Co Wexford