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Latest Farming Commentary

Forecast issued at: Saturday 28th March 2020 14:00


Rainfall amounts have been very much below average over the past 7 days for most of the country and in parts of the east of the country there was no rainfall at all. However, there was above average rainfall in western coastal areas of Munster and Connacht. Coastal stations in Belmullet, Co. Mayo and Valentia in Co. Kerry had some wet days during the week, and recorded 23.9mm (114% of normal) and 35.6mm (134% of normal) respectively. Along the south coast and southern parts of the midlands there was under 1mm of rainfall recorded at 5 weather stations in the past week, less than 5% of normal. Parts of Donegal, Mayo, Galway and Clare recorded between 4mm and 11mm of rainfall, from 20% to 45% of normal for the time of year. High pressure will continue to dominate our weather to give a drier than normal week ahead. Most of the country is forecast to receive less than 10mm of rainfall. This is much drier than normal. The eastern half of the country is expected to receive between 10% and 30% of normal rainfall. More rainfall is forecast for coastal areas along the Atlantic, with between 10mm and 20mm rain expected, which is 60% to 90% of normal for the time of year.


Average temperatures for the past 7 days have been mixed across the country. Temperatures in parts of the east, northwest and south coasts were just below average. A swathe from Donegal to Kerry had above average temperatures of up to degree. Knock Airport had the coolest average temperature of 6.4 degrees, which was 0.2 degree above average. Valentia in Co. Kerry had the warmest average temperature of 9 degrees, which was 0.5 degree above average. With a northeasterly airflow dominating the coming week due to the position of the high pressure system, the week ahead should be colder than average and average temperatures are expected to be one, two or even three degrees below normal. Average soil temperatures for the past 7 days have been between 0.5 and 2.3 degrees above average and may cool slightly in the coming week.


With the exception of the northwest, all parts of the country had above average sunshine totals this week. Belmullet was the dullest weather station; just 15.6 hours of sunshine was recorded, which is 71% of its normal amount for this time of year. It was a very sunny week at Johnstown Castle in Co. Wexford. Just under 55 hours of sunshine was recorded, which is just over 200% of its normal amount for the time of year. Sunshine amounts are likely to be around average for most of the country over the coming week due to the influence of high pressure.

Drying Conditions

Drying conditions will be moderate or good over the coming week, but poorer in some Atlantic coastal counties, which are expected to receive between 60% and 90% of normal rainfall.


Good opportunities for spraying in all areas for next few days, with little rain and relatively light winds forecast, though it will be chilly for the time of year.

Field Conditions

Poorly-drained soils are saturated in the Northwest and parts of Kerry but this is expected to improve over the coming week. Soils elsewhere are likely to have a soil moisture deficit of 15 to 20mm by the 3rd April.

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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