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Latest Farming Commentary

Forecast issued at: Saturday 30th May 2020 15:00


It has been a very dry week in most parts of the country. The majority of rainfall occurred last weekend and mainly affected Connacht and Ulster, but accumulations in most places were still much lower than the average for this time of year. In Ulster, there was roughly between 45 and 60% of the normal rainfall amounts, with 8.9mm recorded at Malin Head station and 7.1mm at Ballyhaise, Co. Cavan. There was around 45% of average rainfall in parts of Kerry and west Cork, with 9.5mm recorded at Valentia. Across the rest of the country, rainfall accumulations were well below average, particularly in Leinster. The forecast is for more changeable conditions from Tuesday evening and current indications are that most rainfall will occur in the north and east, with much of Munster and Connacht staying largely dry. The best chance of rainfall will be in west Ulster, where between 10 and 15mm of rain is expected. Across the rest of the country, accumulations are expected to remain below 10mm in total for the week.


The current warm spell has seen mean air temperatures generally between 1.5 and 3.5 degrees higher than usual for the end of May, ranging between 13 and 15 degrees. Soil temperatures have also been well above normal, with mean temperatures of 13 to 15 degrees in the north and west and 16 to 18.5 degrees elsewhere. It will remain warm for the next few days, but from Wednesday temperatures will begin to return to near or slightly below normal. Soil temperatures will continue to increase due to the current warm weather.


It has been a very sunny week, with above average sunshine hours countrywide. The largest amount of sunshine hours was recorded at Dublin Airport, at a total of 76.7 hours which equates to 180% of normal. It will be largely sunny over the next few days, but from Tuesday afternoon it will become more changeable with variable cloud amounts. The UV index will remain high in sunshine in the coming days.

Drying Conditions

Drying conditions will be good countrywide for the next few days, but it will turn more changeable from Tuesday evening, with periods of rain mainly affecting the north and east. Much of the south and west should see longer spells of dry weather.


There will be good opportunity for spraying for the rest of the long weekend and on Tuesday, with light winds and little or no rain. It will be showery and breezy on Wednesday, but later in the week there should be further opportunities for spraying, particularly across the west and south.

Field Conditions

In most areas, with the exception of the far south and southwest of Munster, soil moisture deficits currently range between 45 and 75mm for all soils (well to poorly drained) with restrictions to growth in many areas. The far south and southwest of Munster is less dry, with soil moisture deficits of 20 to 30mm. Even though more changeable conditions are expected from midweek, accumulations are expected to be low, so soil moisture deficits are expected to increase in all areas over the next seven days.

Further Comments

Forest Fire Danger Rating: Condition RED – Extreme Fire Risk. Arising from current weather patterns, an extreme forest fire risk is deemed to exist in all areas where hazardous fuels such as dead grasses, heather and gorse exist. This risk condition will remain in place until midday on Monday. Further information on this notice is available at

Agricultural Data Graphs

Soil Moisture Deficits

Soil Moisture Deficits (SMDs) 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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