Jack Williams from fordstown looking at his half harvested crop, the ground is too soft for the machines to move..Pic Fran Caffrey/Newsfile.ie..?150m WORTH OF CROPS AT RISK AS 40% OF HARVEST STILL TO BE GATHERED ? MCDONNELL..IFA National Grain Chairman Colum McDonnell has said less than two-thirds of the harvest has been gathered and the deterioration of ground conditions is proving very frustrating for tillage farmers...Mr McDonnell said that grain farmers have experienced the most difficult situation since the mid-eighties and are becoming increasingly anxious about the remainder of the harvest..In the north-east and midlands, only 50% of the harvest is in. Winter wheat is the predominant crop in north Kildare, Meath, Dublin and Louth. Persistent rainfall, high grain moistures and poor trafficability have limited harvesting opportunities in the last three weeks...Mr McDonnell said ?every day the crop is in the ground, there is a loss in yield. Crops are overripe and prone to sprouting and straw breakdown. The excessive moisture levels and the poor ground conditions have dramatically slowed down the harvest throughput even when the rain holds off. At a time when the harvest should be coming to a close, growers are hoping for a week of sunshine to finish. If the weather doesn?t take up, crops worth ?150m are at risk. ?..The IFA Grain Chairman said ?we are looking at a salvage situation in some areas and serious financial implications for growers. An advance on the Single Farm Payment would help to alleviate cashflow difficulties.?..He said the combination of significant increases in input costs and falling prices will have a severe impact on growers? profitability this year. Further hikes in the price of fertiliser that are in the pipeline will also force a re-think on plans for next year...The south and south east has seen the most progress, with over 70% of the harvest complete. One feature of this year?s harvest has been the loss of straw. Up to half the crop in
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