Irish Growers Impacted By Drought

Published online: Jul 21, 2004
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Many March-sown crops in Ireland have had to endure one of the driest spells of weather ever recorded for the May/June period in Northern Ireland. Recent rains may have come too late to impact the early potato crop.

Wilson's Country chief executive Angus Wilson said initial indications were that quite a number of early sown varieties had failed to bulk up.

"This is a direct result of the moisture stress caused by an almost total lack of rain in many areas," Wilson said. "Even on farms where irrigation equipment is available, it has been hard to maintain adequate soil moisture levels, particularly in the drier parts of County Down."

But Wilson said it was unlikely that the main crops had been affected as they were planted in ideal conditions.

"The only management worry is the fact that the return to more humid conditions will increase the likelihood of blight attack," he said.