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Winter Cereals

Winter cereals is the term used to describe autumn drilled wheat, barley and oats. The area of winter cereals in Ireland was traditionally around 100,000 ha but has increased to around 150,000 ha in recent years, mainly due to an increase in the area of winter barley. Winter wheat and barley dominate the area with around 70,000 ha each, whereas only 10,000 ha of winter oats are drilled each year. 

About Winter Cereals

In each crop category (wheat, barley and oats) there are about five to eight different varieties sown each year. Growers primarily drill varieties which feature on the Department of Agriculture National Recommended Lists for each crop. Yield increases from plant breeding, in the order of 1% per year, which have increased yield of Irish crops to the highest in the world.

Septoria control in winter wheat 

BYVD Control in Winter Cereals

Aphids are the most serious pests of crops in Ireland and affect crops in two ways by feeding on the grain and by vectoring a virus called BYDV (Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus). Learn how to control BYDV and Aphids in this short video clip.


Winter Cereals: Yields and Profit Analysis

The average yields of winter cereals from 2012 -2017 are:

Winter Wheat

 201220132014201520162017
National Yield

(t/ha)

7.2 9.3 10.2 10.7 9.7  10.3
National Area

(ha)

83,300 45,400 65,100 55,300 59,700 61,000

Winter Wheat Profit Monitor Analysis 2016 (pdf)

Teagasc have published a comprehensive to growing Winter Wheat which collates research and best practice for obtaining high yields. The guide combines crop production research focusing on understanding how winter wheat yields are formed and best practice how to achieve this. The Winter Wheat Guide (PDF)

Winter Barley

 20132014201520162017
National Yield

(t/ha)

9.5 9.3 10.2 8.6 9.10
National Area

(ha)

36,000 60,100 69,800 73,800 63,300

Winter Oats

 20132014201520162017
National Yield

(t/ha)

8.1 8.7 9.2 8.3 8.9
National Area

(ha)

5,400 10,100 11,400 12,900 14,000

Read also: Oats: Food and Crop product potential (pdf)

Data taken from www.cso.ie

Generally winter cereals are sown from mid- September to mid November.  Due to restricted growth after mid November, little or no cereals are sown after this date until mid to late January.

The market outlet for winter wheat and winter barley is almost all for animal feed (pigs, poultry, dairy and cattle ration, etc.) with a proportion of winter oats going for milling (used to make porridge).

 

 

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