Latest Farming Commentary

Forecast issued at: Thursday 21st September 2023 11:00


The past seven days were much wetter than average, especially across the east and south of the country. The southeastern half of the country generally had the largest amounts, ranging from 60 to 80mm, highest at Johnstown Castle, Co. Wexford with 4 times its average rainfall. Further northwest it was comparatively drier with amounts ranging from 25 to 55mm. The next 7 days are expected to see a continuation of the wet conditions with rainfall totals of 30-50mm expected widely, possibly up to 100mm in some Atlantic coastal counties.


Mean air temperatures over the past week have been mostly close to or within a degree below normal. It was coolest at Knock Airport, Co. Mayo with a mean air temperature of 11.7 degrees. Johnstown Castle, Co. Wexford and Valentia Observatory, Co. Kerry were the only stations a mean air temperature above normal with 14.1 degrees and 14.2 degrees recorded respectively. Mean soil temperatures have ranged from 13.8 to 15.9 degrees with is 1.4 to 2.7 degrees above average. Over the coming week, there will be alternations between cooler than average and milder than average conditions but overall, mean air temperatures will likely be around or within a degree of the average. Mean soil temperatures will continue above normal.


Sunshine amounts over the past seven days have been generally below average. It was sunniest in the northwest with 26 hours of sunshine recorded in Belmullet whilst it was dullest in the southeast with just 15 hours of sunshine at Johnstown Castle. Changeable conditions over the coming week will likely lead to below average sunshine amounts overall though there will be some good sunshine at times, especially today in southern counties and many areas on Friday.

Drying Conditions

Drying conditions will be limited due to spells of rain or showers. The best opportunity looks to be Friday afternoon as showers become more isolated those winds will ease.


Similarly, spraying opportunities will generally be limited over the coming days. The best opportunities will be later on Friday as showers ease and Saturday morning before rain and freshening winds extend from the southwest.

Field Conditions

All well drained soils are currently close to or are at saturation. Most moderately drained soils are either saturated or waterlogged while all poorly drained soils are waterlogged with the exception of the far west and northwest. The coming days will see some recovery in the soil moisture deficits but a further deterioration is then expected from this weekend.

Further Comments

A potato blight advisory is currently in effect as weather conditions conducive to the spread of potato blight will affect all regions from Sunday morning 24th September to Monday afternoon 25th September. Forecast maps and meteograms can be found on Blight Forecast.

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.