Latest Farming Commentary

Forecast issued at: Thursday 08th June 2023 11:00


The past week was dry almost countrywide with most stations having no rainfall and just 1mm recorded at Malin Head. The coming few days will continue to be mainly dry with most of the country seeing very little or no rainfall and drought conditions are likely to increase in coverage. However, there will be a subtle change to the weather pattern this weekend with the increased likelihood of rain or showers at times. Further showers are expected next week with thunderstorms possible. Overall, rainfall amounts will likely range from 5 to 10mm in the south of the country to 5 to 15mm in parts of the west and north, approximately 25 to 80% of the average for the time of year. Localised areas could see more in thunderstorms.


A large regional contrast in temperatures occurred over the last 7 days. Mean air temperatures over the past week ranged from 11.6 degrees at Dublin Airport (1 degree below average) to 16.4 degrees at Shannon Airport (2.7 degrees above average). It was warmer than average in all areas away from northern and eastern coasts where onshore breezes kept temperatures lower. Mean soil temperatures ranged from 15.7 degrees at Shannon Airport to 20.1 degrees at Cork Airport which is between 1.7 and 7 degrees above average. The coming week will see mean air temperatures of around 15 degrees in the north of Ulster (2 degrees above average) with 18 or 19 degrees expected elsewhere up to 6 degrees above average, still a little lower on coasts. Mean soil temperatures will likely increase further during the coming week.


Sunshine hours have been well above normal nationwide this week, 200 to 275% of the average, with between 80 and 105 hours generally. The coming week will be cloudier though, especially over the weekend, but there still will be spells of sunshine, hazy at times. Overall, sunshine amounts will likely range around average or slightly below over the coming week.

Drying Conditions

Drying conditions will be very good over the next few days with just a few showers or patchy rain in parts of the southwest and west. Temperatures will be highest in the west with the strongest breeze in eastern counties. Drying conditions will be patchier from this weekend onwards as the possibility for rain or showers increases.


Similarly, there will be opportunities for spraying over the coming days. However, farmers should be aware that it can be a dangerous time for slurry spreading. With the current calm conditions, farmers might wait for better air movement for safer slurry agitation. A fresher breeze will affect some eastern and southern coastal counties at times.

Field Conditions

Soil moisture deficits (SMDs) across all soil types currently range from 45 to 55mm over northern parts of the country and 55 to 70mm elsewhere with growth becoming increasingly restricted. Despite intermittent rain and showers expected from the weekend onwards, SMDs will still increase further, generally by 5 to 10mm over the coming week with drought or near drought conditions in parts of the southeast.

Further Comments

The Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine have issued a condition orange high fire risk valid till 1200 12/06/2023. 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.