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Latest Farming Commentary

Forecast issued at: Sunday 20th September 2020 15:00


With very little precipitation the past week due to a dry spell, the majority of the country recorded almost no rainfall or less than 3mm. The exception being western and northwestern fringes, where the highest totals of the past 7 days were recorded. The highest total recorded was 12.7mm at Malin Head, around half its average. With rainfall expected on Tuesday, and a change to a more unsettled westerly regime, rainfall totals this coming week are expected to be close to normal across the country, or above normal in the western half of the country. Drier conditions are expected further east, with parts of the east and southeast still expected to remain drier than normal.


Mean Air Temperatures the past 7 days have been higher than normal for the time of year, ranging 2 to 3 degrees above average with mean air temperatures between 14.7 and 17 degrees. With much colder conditions expected from Wednesday, Mean Air Temperatures will fall to between -2 to -3 degrees below normal, ranging 10 to 11 degrees across much of the country. Mean soil temperatures have been above normal the past week, ranging around 3 to 4 degrees above normal, highest in parts of Leinster. With colder than normal mean air temperatures expected next week, mean soil temperatures are expected to reduce to become closer to average for the time of year.


Sunshine levels over the past week have generally been above average, around 100% to 150% of normal. Dublin Airport recorded the most sunshine with 46.8 hours. With more unsettled whether expected from Tuesday, sunshine levels are expected to be closer to or below normal, with the north and west likely to be the dullest regions.

Drying Conditions

Drying conditions will be moderate or good through to Monday, with no rainfall expected and prolonged sunny spells. However, mainly light to moderate winds away from eastern and southern coastal areas will impair drying conditions somewhat. Poor drying conditions are expected from Tuesday next week with rain expected later in the day across much of the country.


Dry conditions and light to moderate winds will present good opportunities for spraying in most areas up until Tuesday.

Field Conditions

Soils in north Connacht and west Ulster are close to saturation, with some poorly drained soils waterlogged in parts of Connacht. Soil moisture deficits increase further south with deficits of around 25mm in southern coastal counties. With rainfall expected from Tuesday, soil moisture levels are expected to increase thereafter. Poorly drained soils are expected to become water logged across much of the northern half of the country and in the far southwest by the end of next week. Elsewhere, soils in Munster and south Leinster are still expected to remain below saturation by the end of the week, with soil moisture deficits of up to around 25mm along the south coast.

Agricultural Data Graphs

Soil Moisture Deficits

Soil Moisture Deficits (SMDs) in (mm) are calculated for three classes of soil: well drained, moderately drained and poorly drained. For further information on how Soil Moisture Deficits are calculated, click here.

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