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The spell of good weather has allowed farmers to make excellent progress on plantings of winter crops. Based on reports from around the country it would appear that most of the extra plantings will be attributed to barley. However it must be remembered that winter barley was back by over 8000 ha last year so we should see this area restored or perhaps regain the 74,000 ha level of 2016.

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The grain prices released from the main co-ops last week have set the level for current green grain prices. For growers with solely winter crops the price is reasonable however those with spring crops along the eastern seaboard in particular, will be nursing losses again this season. Although trade in grain is quiet at the moment, prices have steadied this week having eased a little last week.

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Global total grains production is expected to show a second consecutive annual decline in 2018/19, to 2,063m t, down 1% year on year. Led by reduced harvests in Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries, the global wheat harvest is seen falling (-42m t) for the first time in six years, while barley output could be the lowest since 2012/13.

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The persistent dry periods and hotter-than-usual conditions are constraining yield potentials. Yields of for winter cereals are down and forecasts for spring barley have been revised downwards.

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Irish merchants are actively canvassing for green grain supplies due limited availability of grain and a reduction in projected yields.

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