Sales of spring barley seed are estimated to be up 15% to 20% on last year as arable farmers look to use the crop to utilise land that missed out on winter planting.

Local growers were left with limited spring cropping options as poor ground conditions throughout February, March and early April saw the windows for oats and wheat being missed.

Seed houses have seen unprecedented demand for spring barley varieties across Ireland and the UK, with some reports of barley seed being sold out.

Agronomists estimate that while the area under spring barley is higher in 2024, the overall land area under cereals will be similar to previous years.

Late planting

However, with large areas of land being drilled last week, sowing dates are approaching the end of the planting window for barley, and this is likely to see yields down on previous years.

Late planting is also expected to impact straw yields as ear emergence is likely to occur after a short period of stem elongation.

Delayed planting is also expected to push harvesting dates well into September, limiting options for planting a subsequent winter crop. Ground conditions may also be an issue in a wet autumn.

Grain price

Late planting across Europe continues to impact grain markets, with prices slowly hardening as the prospect of a mediocre harvest gains traction.

Feed barley rose by £8 to £200/t this week for imported grain delivered in November. Feed wheat rose by £6 to £217/t.

Read more

In pictures: 2002 New Holland TM150 sells for €21,000 at Carlow auction

Early nitrogen essential this season